Commerzbank CEO Martin Zielke leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about five years in the position
  • No successor named
  • Zielke said 120 words

(exechange) — Frankfurt, Germany, July 8, 2020 — Martin Zielke, chief executive of Commerzbank, leaves. As announced by Commerzbank AG in a news release on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Martin Zielke leaves his post as chief executive officer at the commercial bank after about five years in the role by December 31, 2020 at the latest.

Commerzbank did not name a replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer.

On July 3, 2020, Commerzbank had stated: “The Presiding and Nomination Committee of the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank has discussed in its meeting today the offer of Martin Zielke to resign early as a Board Member of Commerzbank AG on the basis of a mutual termination of his Board Membership. It also discussed if, in the view of the Supervisory Board, such resignation is in the interest of Commerzbank. The Presiding and Nomination Committee has decided to recommend to the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank to mutually terminate the appointment of Martin Zielke as Board Member and Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Commerzbank at a point in time to be agreed between Martin Zielke and the Supervisory Board but the latest by 31 December 2020. The Supervisory Board will decide on this in its meeting on 8th July 2020.”

On July 3, 2020, Commerzbank had further stated: “Supervisory Board Chairman, Stefan Schmittmann, today resigned with effect from 3rd of August 2020.”

On July 3, 2020, Commerzbank further stated: “Stefan Schmittmann has resigned from office at today’s Presiding and Nomination Committee meeting with effect from the 3rd of August 2020.”

On July 3, 2020, Stefan Schmittmann stated: “As Chairman of the Supervisory Board, I fully supported all the strategic decisions of the Executive Board. Commerzbank’s 5.0 strategy has not found sufficient acceptance in the markets. This is reflected in the share price. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that I am responsible too and should take my share of responsibility. This is why I am going to resign. There are profound changes ahead for the Board of Managing Directors, the Bank and its employees. This will take a lot of strength and effort, and should be free from repeated discussions over my role.”

“The financial performance of the Bank has been and is unsatisfactory”

Martin Zielke’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. On July 3, 2020, Martin Zielke had stated: “Even if we made strategic progress, the financial performance of the Bank has been and is unsatisfactory. And as CEO I bear the responsibility for that. As I want to assume this responsibility, I offered the mutual termination of my Board Membership to the Supervisory Board Committee at its meeting today. I would like to open the way for a fresh start. The bank needs a profound transformation and a new CEO, who gets the necessary time from the markets to implement a strategy.”

Precise information regarding Martin Zielke’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Mutual termination”

On July 8, 2020, Commerzbank said: “Upon the recommendation of the Presiding and Nominating Committee, the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank has agreed to the mutual termination of appointment and contract of CEO Martin Zielke. Zielke has declared his willingness to continue to perform his duties until a successor has been appointed. He will step down from his office the latest on 31 December 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Commerzbank AG’s share price of 49% since May 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2016

Martin Zielke became CEO of the Company in 2016.

His bio reads as follows:

Personal data

  • born on 17 January 1963 in Hofgeismar (Hesse)
  • married, two daughters

Career highlights

  • 1983 – 1985 Deutsche Bank AG, Kassel branch; Apprenticeship as a banking professional
  • 1985 – 1990 Studied business administration at Göttingen University
  • 1990 Master’s degree (Diplom-Kaufmann)
  • 1990 – 2000 Dresdner Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main
  • 2000 – 05/2001 Deutsche Bank 24, Frankfurt am Main; Regional head of portfolio investment
  • 06/2001 – 12/2001 Deutsche Hyp, Frankfurt am Main; Regional head of financing Retail Banking
  • 01/2002 – 12/2004 Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt am Main; Group Manager, Retail Banking
  • 01/2005 – 03/2006 Group Manager, Corporate Banking
  • 04/2006 – 12/2007 Eurohypo AG, Eschborn; Member of the Board of Managing Directors/CFO (resigned from his office with effect from 30.06.2008)
  • 01.01.2008 – 04.11.2010 Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt am Main; Divisional Board Member for Group Finance
  • since 05.11.2010 Member of the Board of Managing Directors
  • since 01.05.2016 Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors responsible for Group Audit, Group Communications and Group Legal
  • since 23.04.2020 President of the Bundesverband deutscher Banken e.V. (Association of German Banks).
Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Commerzbank and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 28.2020 ($).