- Thomas Gottstein, Credit Suisse's chief executive, could depart the bank on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Scandals related to Greensill Capital and Archegos Capital Management took place with Gottstein at the helm.
- Unicredit CEO Andrea Orcel has been talked about as Credit Suisse’s next CEO, while Francesco De Ferrari and Christian Meissner have emerged as internal replacements.
Credit Suisse's Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein could depart the bank as soon as Wednesday, when the bank releases its results for the second quarter, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The possibility of Gottstein's departure from the Swiss bank has been discussed for some months on Wall Street, especially as Credit Suisse has come under the microscope for costly risk management errors, two people who work for Credit Suisse, but were not authorized to speak publicly, told Insider.
Credit Suisse endured about $5.5 billion in losses from the Archegos Capital Management scandal in 2021. The bank also took a hit last year when its funds were heavily exposed to Greensill Capital, the supply-chain finance lender which went bankrupt last April.
A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment.
In the aftermath of the scandals, Gottstein has sought to improve the bank's reputation with investors, shareholders, and staff. Credit Suisse's share price remains down roughly 47% year to date, and some senior bankers have exited the firm in the last 12 to 18 months.
To be fair, at least 14 managing directors were rehired by Credit Suisse, Insider reported in March. And under Gottstein, Credit Suisse also united its corporate-banking unit with its investment bank to try to right the ship at the beginning of this year.
News of Gottstein's potential departure has bankers pondering who could be Credit Suisse's next CEO, the people who spoke to Insider said.
"I hope they bring in someone external who is strong. This institution has been drifting downwards for so long. So you need someone who will come in with an iron broom and say 'this is what we're going to do.' More of a true leader," one of the people said.
In May, there was talk that UniCredit CEO Andrea Orcel could take the top job at Credit Suisse, but the people that spoke to Insider were not convinced the Swiss bank would be able to afford him.
"I'd be surprised at Orcel. Unless they pay him a lot of money," the second person said.
UniCredit's market cap is currently €17.3 billion ($17.5 billion) and Credit Suisse's is €13.9 billion.
Internally, Francesco De Ferrari, head of Credit Suisse's global wealth business, is one name being bandied about as Gottstein's successor, the people said.
De Ferrari was appointed the head of the wealth business and joined the bank's executive board at the beginning of this year. He also took over as head of the Europe, Middle East, and Asia region on an interim basis.
Christian Meissner, the CEO of the investment bank and CEO of the Americas region, is also a potential candidate to replace Gottstein, the people said.
Credit Suisse appointed Gottstein as CEO in February 2020 after Tidjane Thiam left the bank following a spying scandal.
"The bank needs a seismic wake-up call and strong leadership. Not more of the same," the first person said.