Deutsche Boerse board member wants CEO out: paper

Sat Feb 4, 2012 7:48am EST
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse's (DB1Gn.DE: Quote) chief executive Reto Francioni should step down following the collapse of its $7.4 billion plan to merge with NYSE Euronext NYX.N, a member of the German exchange operator's supervisory board told a newspaper.

"The question needs to be asked whether there have to be consequences (for management)," Johannes Witt, a board member representing the interests of labour, told German weekly Euro am Sonntag in comments published on Saturday.

"Can someone who wanted to change the status quo by finding a partner only to see that (deal) collapse still lead this company into the future?"

Francioni's term ends in December, and contract extensions for CEOs in Germany are often agreed about a year in advance.

On Thursday, Boerse and NYSE terminated their merger plans after the European Commission blocked the deal to prevent handing the combined group a "near monopoly.

Boerse's labour leaders had undermined its campaign to convince German regulators a deal strengthened Frankfurt's role as a financial centre when they urged shareholders to reject the deal, fearing key responsibilities would be moved to New York.

Separately, Deutsche Bank's German retail asset management unit DWS called for a fresh start at the exchange operator in comments published by business weekly WirtschaftsWoche on Saturday.

"The merger tied up management capacity for more than a year. In the past couple of years, Boerse has stagnated, and now more dynamism needs to return," said Henning Gebhardt, head of European equities at DWS.

"Now and then there needs to be a fresh start - whatever form that might take (...) Francioni, of all people, does not come out of this without a scratch," Gebhardt told the magazine.   Continued...

<p>Reto Francioni, CEO of Deutsche Boerse AG (German stock exchange) delivers a speech a news conference at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski</p>