After years of embarrassment, subpar if not terrible results, and a spying scandal that will almost certainly turn into a book – Credit Suisse fired its CEO, Tidjane Thiam. Most in the banking industry believed this action to be long overdue, loooong overdue.
In a ‘swiss on swiss’ crime story Tidjane was accused of spying on former deputy and current UBS WMA CEO in-waiting Iqbal Kahn. An internal probe ultimately cleared Mr. Thiam, but infer what you will about ‘internal probes’. They are about as useful and trustworthy as the opinions of the outgoing and under-performing CEO himself.
Per media reports:
“We saw a deterioration in terms of trust, reputation and credibility among all our stakeholders,“ Chairman Urs Rohner said in an interview Friday after the board rebuffed appeals from major shareholders in the U.S. and U.K. to back Thiam. “It became really relevant” because the damage was notably in Switzerland, where 40% of the bank’s pretax income is generated, Rohner said.”
A deterioration in trust, reputation, and credibility – the hat trick of a grossly depressed stock price and banking results. Ouch.
“Thiam’s exit represents the culmination of a conflict between the CEO and Rohner that escalated after it emerged that top management hired detectives to follow former executive Iqbal Khan. While Thiam, 57, was cleared in an internal probe and a close lieutenant was blamed, the bank struggled to move beyond the scandal following the disclosure of another spying episode in December. Swiss regulators have launched their own inquiry, raising questions about the culture at the top of the firm.”
Spying on a colleague during and after his tenure with the firm is just creepy. You can imagine that Mr. Thiam was probably monitoring Mr. Khan’s Instagram account as well and liking select posts in a schoolgirl passive aggressive way – and using his burner account to block and unblock his exe’s. Lol.
Seriously, spying on a colleague while the stock price devolves to financial crisis levels. Nice work. And a fellow country man at that. Like we said, this firing was long overdue.