September 22, 2014 / 10:24 PM / in 3 years

BNP Paribas Chairman Baudouin Prot to leave: Le Figaro

PARIS (Reuters) - BNP Paribas SA’s BNPP.PA board will decide on the departure and the successor of its chairman Baudouin Prot this week, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on Monday.

A BNP Paribas sign is pictured on a building of the bank in Geneva July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

The report follows weeks of speculation about the departure of Prot, who was the bank’s chief executive at the time of criminal activities admitted by the group during the U.S. investigation of sanctions breaching that cost France’s biggest retail lender a record $8.9 billion fine.

A special committee of the board of directors, designed to work on the succession of the chairman, is to meet on Tuesday in order to take note of the decision of Prot to leave the bank, Le Figaro said. The board of directors is to choose the next chairman on Friday.

BNP Paribas was not immediately available for a comment. Asked whether the position of his predecessor Prot had been weakened by the U.S. litigation, BNP Paribas Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in early July he would remain in the role “even if the shock is as hard for him as for the rest of the group.”

Jean Lemierre, an advisor to Bonnafe since 2008, is a possible candidate to replace Prot, Le Figaro said, citing several sources. Lemierre previously headed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 2000 to 2008.

Prot, 59, who was at the helm of the bank from 2003 to 2011, helped the bank earn a reputation as a risk-adverse monolith that emerged from the 2008 financial crisis virtually unscathed.

He became the chairman of the board in December 2011 when Bonnafe was appointed chief executive officer.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by John Irish and Marguerita Choy

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