Swiss suicide prompts the question: What's undue stress in a C-Suite ?

Josef Ackermann

One of the business world’s sadder and more macabre stories is coming out of serene Switzerland.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that an executive, Pierre Wauthier, finance chief at Zurich Insurance, allegedly killed himself and penned a suicide note detailing pressure from Chairman Josef Ackermann.

When Wauthier’s family brought the letter to the remaining executives at Zurich Insurance, Ackermann stepped down, though he described the allegations as 'unfounded'. Suffice to say, this isn’t the sort of management challenge one finds in a business school syllabus.

Friday morning the company’s executives cobbled together a quick conference call in a bid to calm investors. Chief Executive Martin Senn said there is no link between Wauthier’s death and the company’s performance. But he also said Senn 'did an excellent job at all times' and the company’s board would 'look into the question as to whether there was undue pressure placed on our CFO'.

Hit the link below to access the complete Bloomberg BusinessWeek article:

Swiss Suicide Prompts the Question: What's Undue Stress in a C-Suite?

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