Commerzbank Names New Executives in Bid to End Leadership Tumult
(Bloomberg) -- Commerzbank AG appointed Thomas Schaufler as its new retail head and Joerg Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz as operating chief, filling two key roles as the lender seeks to put an end over a long period of rapid management turnover.
Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz will replace Joerg Hessenmueller, who will vacate his post by the end of the year, the bank said in a statement Wednesday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg report. Schaufler joins from Austrian lender Erste Group Bank AG.
“The newly formed board team combines a long track record of management experience with great depth of specialist expertise and furthermore secures the necessary focus for implementing Strategy 2024,” Supervisory Board Chairman Helmut Gottschalk said in the statement.
Gottschalk and Chief Executive Officer Manfred Knof are trying to wrap up an era of rapid leadership changes that erupted more than a year ago when then-CEO Martin Zielke and Chairman Stefan Schmittmann jointly threw in the towel after facing heavy criticism from investors. A string of departures followed, including another chairman and head of corporate clients.
“The task now is to develop our full potential as a team and to consistently transform Commerzbank further,” Knof said in the statement.
The retail post has been vacant since executive board member Sabine Schmittroth resigned from the role earlier this year to focus on her duties as head of human resources. The retail job will involve closing hundreds of branches as the bank shifts to digital offerings.
Hessenmueller stoked frustration on the supervisory board after informing the panel of trouble with an IT outsourcing project after his contract was renewed in June, people familiar with the matter have said. Commerzbank subsequently stopped the project, forcing it to take a writedown of 200 million euros ($236 million) and pay an undisclosed sum as compensation to its former outsourcing partner, HSBC Holdings Plc’s German unit.
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