The announcement by Kaspar Villiger (photo), Board Chairman of UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland), that CEO Oswald Grübel had resigned on Saturday caught many by surprise, partly because just the day before he had said he had the board’s complete support. According to Villiger, “The Board regrets Oswald Grübel’s decision. Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident.” He added:
The Board is deeply disappointed by the recent loss arising from unauthorized trading. It will fully support the independent investigation and will ensure that mitigating measures are implemented to prevent such an incident from recurring.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. On Wednesday, Villiger told reporters that the board was planning on having a “normal meeting,” despite severe criticism by the bank’s largest shareholder, the Government of Singapore, and the stock market’s negative reaction which drove the bank’s stock price to half what it was back in April. Instead, the meeting ran for two full days and continued via conference calls when several of the board members had to leave Friday afternoon.
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