• Deutsche Bank COO Kim Hammonds told a conference that the bank is the “most dysfunctional” company she has ever worked for.
  • Hammonds made the comments at an internal managerial conference.
  • Her comments come as it is reported that chairman, Paul Achleitner is preparing to oust CEO John Cryan after a clash over strategy.

A top Deutsche Bank executive has described the bank as “most dysfunctional” company she has ever worked for, amid rumours that chairman Paul Achleitner is preparing to oust CEO John Cryan.

According to a German language report from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Deutsche’s COO Kim Hammonds – who was previously global chief information officer at Boeing, and has held senior positions at both Ford and Dell – made the comments at a management conference in Germany.

Hammonds did not deny making the comments, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper, but said they were made at an “internal, confidential managerial conference.” A spokesman for Deutsche Bank didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The situation at Deutsche Bank is vastly more complex [than anywhere else], which isn’t really surprising. We’re a global bank in a difficult transformation,” she added.

Deutsche Bank is in the midst of a major overhaul, spearheaded by John Cryan as it looks to end years of lacklustre performance.

The bank has sought to trim costs after reporting its third consecutive annual loss, losing almost half a billion euros in 2017. Germany's largest lender is also seeking to cut as many as 500 jobs from its investment bank, it was reported in February.

Separately, The Times reported that Deutsche Bank's chairman, Paul Achleitner, is preparing to oust CEO Cryan, and that the bank has started approaching possible candidates to replace Cryan after he and Achleitner clashed over strategy.

Cryan was brought in to Deutsche Bank in 2015 to spearhead a turnaround problem, but is believed to have faced resistance to the pace of change he wants to implement. "It is quite clear the relationship is broken between the chief executive and the chairman," an unnamed source told The Times.

The Times lists Goldman Sachs' London-based international CEO Richard Gnodde, Standard Chartered boss Bill Winters, and Jean Pierre Mustier, the head of Italy's biggest bank Unicredit, as possible replacements for Cryan. Financial News reports that headhunters Heidrick & Struggles are leading external recruitment efforts.

Gnodde is said to have been approached by Deutsche Bank already, but is believed to have turned down the advances.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment when approached by Business Insider.

Deutsche's current co-head of corporate and investment banking, Marcus Schenck, is also said to be seen as a possible internal replacement for Cryan, according to Financial News. Christian Sewing, co-head of commercial and private banking, and chief financial officer James Von Moltke are also said to be in contention.