ZURICH – Credit Suisse Vice-Chair Severin Schwan is undecided whether he will stand for re-election at the bank’s shareholder meeting in April, he told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.
“I have not yet decided whether or not I will stand again at the next Annual General Meeting,” Schwan, also chief executive of drugmaker Roche, was quoted as telling the paper in an article published on Thursday.
“In any case, the task now is to stabilise the bank, and I am happy to support the new chairman in this,” he added.
Switzerland’s second-largest lender on Monday announced the abrupt departure of Antonio Horta-Osorio as chairman following an internal probe into his personal conduct, including flouting coronavirus quarantine rules in both Britain and Switzerland.
It was the bank’s second change of chairman within nine months.
New Chairman Axel Lehmann and other managers will now continue attempts to reform Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, still dealing with the fallout from a slew of earlier failings, ranging from spying on executives to investment losses running into billions of dollars.
Vice-Chair Schwan said that while his jobs at Credit Suisse and Roche were compatible “in principle”, he had experienced an intense period lately on the Credit Suisse board.
“In eight years on the Credit Suisse Board of Directors, I had two phases in particular that were very intense, once around the departure of Tidjane Thiam and now with the resignation of António Horta-Osório,” Schwan said, referring to the abrupt departure following a spying scandal of former CEO Thiam in 2020.
Schwan said he remained focused on leading Roche, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical firm by market capitalisation.
“It was and is perfectly clear that I will not compromise on Roche’s leadership,” he said.
Having joined the bank’s board in 2014, Schwan is now the third-longest standing director there.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)