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Credit Suisse’s Dougan: Joint decision to leave

Credit Suisse's Dougan: Joint decision to leave
Dougan: Why Thiam is right for Credit Suisse
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Outgoing Credit Suisse chief executive Brady Dougan told CNBC that the decision to leave the Swiss banking giant was reached mutually, adding that he had "actually accomplished quite a lot" at his time at the helm.

"I think it was something that we discussed together. I mean, obviously, succession is a discussion you should always be talking about with your board, with your chairman. It is something that you should always be thinking about, and so it is something that I think should be determined jointly," he told CNBC on Tuesday.

"I think it was done very well," he later added.

On Tuesday, Credit Suisse announced the June departure of Dougan, one of the longest-serving chief executives in the banking world. Dougan was the first American CEO of Credit Suisse Group, taking the helm in 2007—and joining Credit Suisse First Boston back in 1990.

Shares of Credit Suisse gained around 8 percent on news of the leadership change, with some speculation that the move was an effort by the bank to shed its tarnished image after the financial crisis.

However, Dougan told CNBC that "I think we came through the crisis extremely well and I think we have been a very constructive and thoughtful participant in a lot of the regulatory debate."

"You know, when you talk about 'CoCos' (contingent convertible bonds) or bail-ins or loss-absorbing capital, we were pretty much a thought-leader in a lot of these areas."

He later added: "I think we have adapted our business probably more rapidly than anyone else in the industry, so I think we actually accomplished quite a lot."

Dougan will remain in his role until June to ensure a "flawless transition" to his successor, named as Tidjane Thiam on Tuesday.

Who is Tidjane Thiam?

Thiam is currently CEO of Prudential, a multinational life insurance and financial services firm headquartered in London. He speaks English, French and German and was born in the Ivory Coast, but educated in France.

Read MoreWho is the new CEO at Credit Suisse?

Dougan said Thiam had done a "brilliant job" of growing Prudential's business in emerging markets, particularly in Asia-Pacific.

"We have worked together for a number of years and I have a lot of admiration for him," Dougan told CNBC.

"He is a very smart guy. I think he has got courage; I think he has got good vision."

Read More'Huge opportunities' for Credit Suisse: New CEO

Swiss banks have come under pressure following criminal investigations by the U.S. and other countries into allegations that they have provided tax shelters for international clients. Last year, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to helping Americans evade taxes and paid a fine of around $2.5 billion to U.S. authorities.

The heat then rose further for the bank in January this year, when the Swiss franc surged after Switzerland's central bank removed its three-year-long currency cap against the euro.

Dougan said the impact of the appreciation in the Swiss franc was "very manageable," but conceded that settling with the U.S. had proved "tough."

"I like the fact that we have got a lot of the legacy issues behind, and in terms of the more recent issues, we have avoided a number of things, like (the) Libor and FX (scandals) et cetera. I think certainly some of the issues were difficult to get through. Certainly, the cross-border settlement with the U.S. was a tough issue to work through; I think we did the best we could with it, but it was a tough issue," he told CNBC.

The 55-year-old hinted that his future plans might not involve banking.

"Being the CEO of a global bank, eight years is a long time to be doing that, so I don't know if I would immediately jump back into something like that, even if I had the opportunity," he said.

"But I think there are probably other things that are pretty interesting. There are a lot of things that are quite interesting to me, so we will see."