Commerzbank is no exception: according to reports, criticized IT director Jörg Hessenmüller is due to step down this week. As Manager Magazin reports, the supervisory board will probably decide on Hessenmüller’s departure on Wednesday. In addition, the supervisory body could decide who will be the new member of the board of directors for private clients. Commerzbank declined to comment. Hessenmüller left one request unanswered.
Hessenmüller’s departure would be particularly pungent as the supervisory board has just extended his five-year contract. The stumbling block is a major IT project for which Hessenmüller is responsible, which has evolved differently than expected, which the supervisory board has now studied. A report with significant results was recently presented, it was said in the media. These did not lead to any other conclusion than to seek a replacement for the responsible member of the board of directors.
The bank announced in July the end of the project to outsource the processing of securities to a subsidiary of the large British bank HSBC. This resulted in a depreciation of around 200 million euros, which is one of the reasons the institute recorded losses in the second quarter. Starting from an annual high in the summer, the bank’s shares have recently lost around 20 percent of their value and were recently listed at 5.55 euros. The new CEO Manfred Knof took office at the beginning of January with the aim of making the bank, which is still public, profitable.
It was said in July that the company is now verifying who was responsible for the failure of the big project. At that time, Hessenmüller still enjoyed the support of the employees of the supervisory board. It will now be interesting to see whether the Bank will pay off Hessenmüller’s contract in the event of separation. This should amount to several million euros in total. This indicates that the manager has so far allegedly not been able to prove fault, as has been said in the business community. At the same time, it was understood that Hessenmüller only informed the supervisory board of the problems after his contract was extended. If so, there should be discussions about the payment.
Reports that Jutta Dönges would be transferred to the board and take over private customer service was dismissed. The rumor was “simply incorrect,” said the director general of the federal finance agency, which represents the federal government on the supervisory board. She had “never sought to move from the supervisory board to the board of directors of Commerzbank”.