Credit Suisse shares fell 4.2% after the announcement of the resignation of its Chief Executive following a spying scandal. In a statement Friday morning, the board of directors said it had unanimously accepted CEO Tidjane Thiam’s resignation and announced that he would be replaced by Thomas Gottstein, who currently heads the bank’s Swiss unit.
The announcement was made together with the board’s presentation of the Swiss lender’s fourth-quarter and full-year result. Chairman Urs Rohner highlighted the contributions made by Thiam in his to the bank since he joined in 2015. He will formally step down on February 14.
“Under Tidjane’s leadership, Credit Suisse simultaneously repurposed our strategy, restored our capital, reduced our costs, de-risked our business, promoted diversity, and engendered an exceptional level of co-operation between various divisions,” Rohner said.
“It is to his credit that Credit Suisse is standing on a very solid foundation and has returned successfully to profit.”
In a message, Thiam said that he was proud of what he and his team have done for the bank during his tenure. He confidently said that they were able to “turned Credit Suisse around” and added that he will still remain an “enthusiastic supporter” even after his resignation.
The scandal happened when former wealth management boss Iqbal Khan, who was heading to rival UBS, said that he was followed by several private contractors to establish whether or not his firm is poaching colleagues and clients. An internal investigation on the scandal in 2019 has concluded that there was “zero evidence” that Thiam was aware of the espionage operation, something that he keeps on reiterating up until his resignation.
“I had no knowledge of the observation of two former colleagues. It undoubtedly disturbed Credit Suisse and caused anxiety and hurt. I regret that this happened and it should never have taken place,” Thiam said on Friday morning.