Credit Suisse chief steps down over bank’s corporate espionage scandal

Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse
Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse. photo: Credit Suisse CC BY 2.0

CREDIT Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam has resigned after a boardroom battle over a corporate spying incident.

Shares in Credit Suisse dropped four percent at news of his resignation.

The 57-year-old French-Ivorian banker — who has held his position since 2015 — resigned after an ongoing dispute with Credit Suisse chairman Urs Rohner.

The row stemmed from a decision by the Zurich-based bank to hire a corporate espionage company to track the ex-head of the wealth management division, Iqbal Khan, who resigned to join investment bank UBS — a Credit Suisse rival.

Thiam denied any knowledge of espionage but said he would resign. “I have agreed with the board that I will step down from my role as chief executive,” he said.

Rohner had reportedly been pressured to quit by some international investors, but the bank says he will complete his term as chairman, which runs until April next year.

The head of Credit Suisse’s domestic business, Thomas Gottstein, will take over as CEO, making him the first Swiss national to head the bank since 2002.