Abigail with attitude:...but the handling of his succession leaves much to be desired
A mole at the Euromoney Awards for excellence dinner in early July murmured that he had interviewed a senior Deutsche Bank employee recently. The potential candidate had revealed that the battle over who should replace CEO Josef Ackermann is acrimonious and is taking a toll on morale. A lot of the talk at the dinner, away from the ears of Dr Ackermann, was of how Deutsche was blind-sided by Axel Weber’s decision to become chairman in waiting at UBS. Almost everyone, including lots of people at Deutsche, had assumed Weber left the Bundesbank in order to take up a role at Deutsche as either chairman of the supervisory board or as CEO, perhaps alongside Anshu Jain.
We can all agree that the succession at Deutsche Bank has been badly handled. Whenever there is a lot of press comment about a succession story, the issue has been poorly managed. The most obvious example of a recently mangled succession plan was HSBC. The shenanigans surrounding the departure of Mike Geoghegan appeared regularly in the Financial Times in an incontinent display of boardroom leaks.