London Stock Exchange Group has asked its chief executive, Xavier Rolet, to leave immediately – a year earlier than planned – in an effort to an end to a row with one of its shareholders over the departure.
The company said Rolet was stepping down “at the board’s request”, six weeks after it announced he would leave by the end of next year and help with the appointment of his successor.
It comes a day after Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, said he was “mystified” by the continuing row over the departure.
The original announcement on 19 October about Rolet stepping down triggered a backlash from the Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI), which has a 5% stake in LSE and fought against his departure. TCI called for an emergency general meeting to reinstate Rolet – assuming he wanted to remain in the role – and to replace Donald Brydon as chairman.
The LSE group said on Wednesday that Brydon would not stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in April 2019, and has asked TCI to withdraw its request for a general meeting.
In a statement announcing his immediate departure, Rolet said: “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.
“At the request of the board, I have agreed to step down as chief executive with immediate effect. I will not be returning to the office of chief executive or director under any circumstances. I am proud of what we have achieved during the past eight-and-a-half years.”
A day earlier, Carney was asked for his views as he presented the results of the latest bank stress tests, and said he was a bit mystified about the debate.
“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.”
Carney said Rolet had “made an extraordinary contribution … [but] everything comes to an end”.
David Warren, the LSE group’s finance director, will take on the additional role of interim chief executive until a successor to Rolet is found.
The LSE group said in a statement: “If TCI does not withdraw its requisition in full, the board intends to publish a shareholder circular confirming among other things the date of the general meeting at which the proposed resolution or resolutions will be put. The circular would be published no later than 30 November 2017.”
TCI declined to comment.
Brydon said: “The board is confident London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) will continue to prosper with David Warren as interim chief executive and the existing strong management team. They have deep knowledge of [the] business and helped shape, lead and execute its strategies.
“They are already working towards LSEG’s current three-year financial targets. I look forward to working with David and his team. We acknowledge, as I said last month, Xavier’s immense – indeed transformative – contribution to the business.”
Rolet has been chief executive of the LSE group since May 2009, and the company said his 12-month notice period would start immediately and be spent on garden leave, during which time he would “be available to be consulted at the board’s discretion”.
He is entitled to leave with a maximum renumeration package of about £13m. That includes his salary of £800,000 for the 12-month notice period and a bonus of up to £1.8m for 2017. The rest is made up of long-term incentive plan payouts and deferred bonuses which would be paid out over a period of time to April 2020.
This article was written by Angela Monaghan, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 29th November 2017 09.52 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010