London Stock Exchange Group’s (LON:LSE) chief executive will step down immediately, while its chairman will not stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in 2019, the blue-chip company has said. The news comes as the company looks to end a row with one of its shareholders.
Investors, however, have reacted badly to the update, sending London Stock Exchange’s share price 2.16 percent lower to 3,718.00p as of 09:44 GMT, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.49 percent higher at 3,718.00 points. The group’s shares have added about 34 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 27 percent in the year-to-date.
CEO to step down
LSE announced in a statement this morning that, at the Board’s request, Xavier Rolet had agreed to step down as CEO with immediate effect. The Board has asked the group’s finance chief David Warren to assume the additional role of Interim CEO until a successor is appointed.
The company further said that its chairman Donald Brydon had indicated that he would not stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in 2019, with both he and the Board believing that “at that point it would be in shareholders’ interests to have a new team at the helm to steer the future progress of the Company”.
Xavier Rolet’s immediate departure comes after activist investor TCI Fund Management accused chairman Donald Brydon of forcing Rolet out and called for a general meeting to be held to remove Brydon.
“Since the announcement of my future departure on 19 October, there has been a great deal of unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the Company,” Rolet commented in the statement, adding that he would “not be returning to the office of CEO or director under any circumstances”.
The Guardian meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, had said that he was ‘mystified’ by the ongoing row over Rolet’s departure.
“I can’t envisage a circumstance where a chief executive stays beyond the agreed period. But it’s in the interest of all parties involved that clarity is provided as soon as possible,” he said, when asked for his views as he presented the results from the BoE’s latest stress tests.