Credit Suisse parts ways with COO Pierre-Olivier Bouée due to Iqbal Khan “observation”

Maria Nikolova

Credit Suisse’s Board of Directors considers that the mandate for the observation of Iqbal Khan was wrong and disproportionate.

The appointment of Iqbal Khan at UBS has resulted in a heavy scandal at Credit Suisse. The day the appointment was announced, Credit Suisse’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Pierre-Olivier Bouée ordered the Credit Suisse Head of Global Security Services to initiate the observation of Iqbal Khan. Today, Credit Suisse made clear its stance on the events associated with this observation.

The COO has confirmed that he alone, in order to protect the interests of the bank, decided to initiate the observation of Iqbal Khan, and that he did not discuss it with Credit Suisse’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), any other member of Credit Suisse’s Executive Board, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse or the Chairman of its Audit Committee.

An investigation launched on behalf of Credit Suisse’s Board did not reveal any indication that the CEO had approved the observation of Iqbal Khan nor that he was aware of it prior to September 18, 2019, after the observation had been aborted.

Neither the investigation conducted on behalf of the Board nor the observation of Iqbal Khan identified any evidence that Iqbal Khan had attempted to poach employees or clients away from Credit Suisse, contrary to his contractual obligations.

The Board of Directors appreciates taking appropriate measures to protect the company’s interests, including when senior employees leave the company. However, the Board of Directors says it considers that the mandate for the observation of Iqbal Khan was wrong and disproportionate and has resulted in severe reputational damage to the bank.

The COO assumed responsibility for this matter and submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors, which has been accepted with immediate effect. The bank has also accepted the resignation with immediate effect of the Head of Global Security Services.

Following the resignation of the COO, Pierre-Olivier Bouée, and his consequential stepping down from the Executive Board, the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse has decided to appoint James B. Walker as Chief Operating Officer and member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse with immediate effect.

James B. Walker currently holds several senior roles in the bank’s finance organization, including Chief Financial Officer of Credit Suisse’s key US subsidiaries and Head of Product Control. He has a long and excellent track record at Credit Suisse and the Board of Directors looks forward to working with him in his new role.

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