The Royal Bank of Scotland Group last night announced that Stephen Hester will be stepping down as the Group’s Chief Executive later this year to give a new CEO ‘time to prepare the privatisation process’.
The search for a successor will commence immediately, led by Philip Hampton on behalf of the Board, and will consider both internal and external candidates. Stephen will continue to lead the business until December 2013 to ensure a smooth handover, unless a successor is in post before then.
Stephen was appointed to the Board in October 2008 and to the position of Group Chief Executive in November 2008. Since then he has led the rescue of RBS, its recovery plan and one of the largest and most complex company restructurings ever seen. It is now beginning to prepare for possible share sales by the UK Government.
In the wake of the announcement RBS shares were affected, opening 4% lower on Thursday before dropping sharply, ahead of an easing to 5.62% down at 10am.
Stephen Hester, CEO of RBS said:
“It has been nearly five years since I joined RBS after the bank was rescued by the Government. In that time we have reduced the bank’s balance sheet by nearly a trillion pounds, repaid hundreds of billions of taxpayer support, and removed the imminent threat that this bank’s size and complexity posed to the UK economy. All the while we supported 30 million customers every day to help them manage their finances.
“We are now in a position where the Government can begin to prepare for privatising RBS. While leading that process would be the end of an incredible chapter for me, ideally for the company it should be led by someone at the beginning of their journey. I will therefore step down at the end of this year to allow a new CEO to lead the Group in this next stage. Over the coming months I will put all my effort into completing the final recovery and continuing to build a strong customer focused culture. I thank all of the people of RBS for their support and wish them all the best for the future.”
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