Credit Suisse’s Board accepts resignation of Tidjane Thiam as CEO

Maria Nikolova

Thomas Gottstein is appointed as the new CEO of Credit Suisse Group AG.

The Board of Directors of Credit Suisse, at its meeting of February 6, 2020, accepted Tidjane Thiam’s resignation as Group CEO, effective February 14, 2020. He will step down following the presentation of the fourth quarter and full-year results 2019. The new Group CEO of Credit Suisse is Thomas Gottstein.

Tidjane Thiam commented:

“I have agreed with the Board that I will step down from my role as CEO. I am proud of what the team has achieved during my tenure. We have turned Credit Suisse around. In particular, we have grown our leading Wealth Management franchise, reenergised our Global Markets business and pursued a bespoke regional approach to client coverage.”

“I will be an enthusiastic supporter of my colleagues, as they continue to build momentum in the business. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all at Credit Suisse for their support in my work. I will be forever grateful.”

Mr Thiame insisted he was not aware of the observation of his former colleagues. The scandal has led to increased regulatory scrutiny for the bank. In December, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said it was appointing an independent auditor to investigate Credit Suisse in the context of its observation activities. On Friday, December 20, 2019, the regulator said the observation activities carried out by Credit Suisse raise various compliance issues.

The latest scandal concerns the observation of Peter Goerke, a Member of the Executive Board at the time, He was placed under observation by a third-party firm on behalf of Credit Suisse for a period of several days in February 2019.

Credit Suisse said back in December that its Board of Directors had carried out internal and, with the support of Homburger AG, external investigations into this matter.

The investigation concluded that Pierre-Olivier Bouée, a former Member of the Executive Board, issued the mandate to have Peter Goerke put under observation. As was the case with Iqbal Khan, this observation was carried out via an intermediary.

Today, Tidjane Thiam said:

“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.”

Thomas Gottstein, the newly appointed Group CEO, has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry, including more than 20 years with Credit Suisse. His track record is based on management roles in Investment Banking (for which he spent 13 years in London) as well as in Private Banking. In his role as CEO of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. and member of the Executive Board, he has been responsible for our home market since 2015. During his tenure, the Swiss business increased its contribution to the Group income before taxes from CHF 1.6 billion to CHF 2.1 billion.

André Helfenstein will succeed Thomas Gottstein as the CEO of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd., effective February 14, 2020 and become a member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse Group AG. André Helfenstein is currently responsible for our institutional clients business in Switzerland, and is a member of the Executive Board of Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. and the Swiss Universal Bank Management Committee.

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