Josef Ackermann tried to shake up Zurich Insurance Group AG. Now, allegations that he was partly responsible for the suicide of the chief financial officer are casting a shadow over his 35-year career.
The leader of Europe’s biggest economy and the head of Germany’s largest bank, partners in a financial rescue two years ago, are rattling investors with their feud over how to manage the sovereign-debt crisis.
Josef Ackermann will step down from Siemens AG’s supervisory board, two weeks after he resigned as chairman of Zurich Insurance Group AG following his naming in the suicide note of finance chief Pierre Wauthier.
Josef Ackermann said he resigned as Zurich Insurance Group AG chairman because accusations that he carried some responsibility for the suicide of its chief financial officer would have compromised his ability to shake up the insurer.
Josef Ackermann, a beacon of corporate Germany as chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG for the last nine years, may become the first top manager to skirt rules the lender espoused to toughen management supervision.
Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann abandoned a plan to become supervisory board chairman in 2012 because Europe’s debt crisis hasn’t given him the time to win shareholder support.