Societe Generale's Bouton Removed from CEO Job


Societe Generale announced that it was splitting the chairman and chief executive roles in its biggest management change since it survived the world's biggest rogue trading scandal.

Societe Generale CEO, Daniel Bouton

Daniel Bouton will give up the chief executive role after 15 years but stay on as chairman, while finance director Frederic Oudea will become the chief executive with day-to-day responsibility for running France's second-largest listed bank.

Bouton had combined the chairman and CEO functions since 1997 and had vowed to remain in charge of the bank after initially offering to resign over the 4.9 billion euros in speculative losses triggered by junior trader Jerome Kerviel.

SocGen said in a statement that Bouton had initiated the new management decisions.

Oudea had recently been named as a deputy CEO, having been credited with helping to stabilize the bank as it unwound the wrong-way share bets amassed by Kerviel and then driving through a capital increase to shore up the bank's balance sheet.

Oudea has told the board he will propose keeping two other deputy CEO's, Philippe Citerne and Didier Alix, SocGen said.

However it added that Citerne had decided not to ask for a renewal of his board mandate at a shareholder meeting on May 27.

"The board has decided to accept this proposal and to increase the proportion of independent board members by asking shareholders to appoint a new independent board member," the bank's statement said.

It said the board would meet on May 12 to approve first-quarter earnings, which would reflect the "sustained confidence of our clients, the group's resilience and once again the benefits derived from a balanced portfolio of activities in a difficult environment."