• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Boss of Sweden's biggest bank gets fired
Swedbank's headquarters in Sundbyberg, Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Boss of Sweden's biggest bank gets fired

TT/The Local · 9 Feb 2016, 11:16

Published: 09 Feb 2016 07:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2016 11:16 GMT+01:00

The banking boss was asked to step aside by Swedbank's board of directors, which said it was "time for a new leadership and a new CEO who can take Swedbank to the next level".

The board has appointed Birgitte Bonnesen, who is currently Head of Swedish Banking, as Acting CEO. It said a recruitment process would spring into action immediately and a new CEO would be selected as soon as possible.

"This is no change in strategy, it's a change of pace. Wolf is not the right person for the next step. (…) It's important to find a person who can manage the work we have already done, but also implement a change so that we can get close to customers and colleagues," said Anders Sundström, chairman of the bank's board of directors, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Wolf, who was born in 1963, joined Swedbank six years ago after previous high profile roles at Swedish engineering giant Skandia and rival bank SEB.

He has been on a 13 million kronor ($1.53m) annual package and the bank said that he would receive 75 percent of his salary for the next 12 months as part of his exit deal, as well as an additional severance payment worth the same amount.


Michael Wolf who is leaving Swedbank. Anders Ahlgren/SvD/TT 

The Swede was recently ranked the ninth best executive in the world by Harvard Business Review, which looks at areas including social responsibility, governance and caring for the environment.

"I was surprised by the board's decision, but at the same time I have the greatest respect for the fact that it's the board of directors that appoints and dismisses the CEO. I would like to direct a genuine 'good luck' to the bank," he told the Dagens Industri business newspaper on Tuesday.

Story continues below…

However the move to sack Wolf follows recent media criticism of both his work and that of the bank's board. Sweden's financial watchdog, FI, announced a month ago that it had launched an investigation linked to a potential conflict of interest between the internal work of senior staff members such as Wolf and a number of property transactions.

"There are obviously shortcomings in what the CEO has done; he could have stopped these transactions if he had wanted to. But that's not my main argument for this change," said Sundström.

Swedbank has eight million private banking customers and around 14,000 employees.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden to ban masks but not burqas at football matches
A masked supporter at a Stockholm derby football match last year. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The ban is designed to curb violence at sporting events in Sweden, but it must also follow conventions on religious freedom.

Video
Heckler humbles Swedish golf champion with perfect putt
Henrik Stenson met his match in the final practice for the Ryder Cup. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/TT

Well that wasn't supposed to happen...

Presented by Invest Stockholm
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges

It’s no secret that Stockholm is serious about sustainability. We took a look at how the city's emerging startups are tackling global challenges, making the world a better place.

Warm weather melts H&M profits
An H&M store in central Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A warm autumn may be good news for Swedes, but it was bad news for Sweden's biggest clothing brand.

Rail delays after heavy winds batter Sweden
The weather is expected to clear up. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Commuters were advised to take it easy in traffic on Friday, after harsh winds toppled trees across roads and railways across Sweden.

Volvo recalls 127,000 cars worldwide
Volvo is recalling 127,000 cars. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Do you own a Volvo? Read this.

The Local Recipes
Swedish food: How to make sweetened lingonberries
Sweetened lingonberries. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Possibly the most Swedish food there is. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local's readers.

Opinion
Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/TT & Kristin Streff/AP/TT

Sweden is neither a socialist paradise nor an internationalist hell. The truth, argues The Local's reporter Lee Roden, lies somewhere in the middle.

Sweden loses fastest internet crown
Good luck untangling those. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Worse still, the new European king is Norway.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
3,006
jobs available