ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam has quit after a power struggle with Chairman Urs Rohner at Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, triggered by a damaging spying scandal.
Thiam will be replaced by Thomas Gottstein, who is head of the Swiss business at Credit Suisse, the Zurich-based lender said on Friday. His departure ends a conflict with Rohner following revelations that the bank had snooped on former executives raised questions over its culture and management.
Credit Suisse’s spying surfaced in September when former star wealth manager Iqbal Khan, after defecting to rival UBS, confronted a private detective who was following him and his wife through Zurich.
Thiam’s exit appears unlikely to draw a line under the affair, potentially irking some international investors who had spoken out in favor of the CEO in his battle with Rohner, while Switzerland’s market supervisor is investigating the board’s oversight of Thiam and his top lieutenants.
“A period of instability will ensue as Mr Gottstein attempts to lay the foundations for further growth. We would assume investor discontent following the change, with any fall-out unknown at this stage,” KBW analysts said.
This was reflected in the immediate market reaction, with the bank’s shares down 2.8% by 1115 GMT.