Fortis CEO Votron steps down

The CEO of Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis has resigned after a day of talks with the group’s board. Jean-Paul Votron had been under pressure since announcing that Fortis was to raise over €8bn in extra capital in order to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet.

The plan involved cancelling this year’s interim dividend, to the fury of small shareholders. Fortis’ share price has fallen 70% over the past year, the Volkskrant said.
Votron had said several times that Fortis had not been affected by the US credit crisis. The group’s role in the €71bn takeover of ABN Amro has also hit the bank’s finances.
Nevertheless, the board said it ‘has always, jointly and in confidence, supported the plans proposed by the management under [Votron’s] leadership. In this respect, we refer a.o. to the acquisition of ABN AMRO and the recent solvency plan.’
Deputy CEO Herman Verwilst will now take over as interim boss.
Votron leaves with one year’s salary of €1.3m as a payoff, the Volkskrant said.

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