(AP) The chairman of the Zurich Insurance Group has resigned just three days after the death of its chief financial officer, who is believed to have committed suicide at home, the company said Thursday.
Josef Ackermann has told the board of directors he is resigning immediately in the wake of CFO's Pierre Wauthier's unexpected death, the company said in a statement. Ackermann is a former chief executive of Deutsche Bank.
The police in Zug, Switzerland have said they believe Wauthier took his own life.
"The unexpected death of Pierre Wauthier has deeply shocked me," Ackermann was quoted as saying in the company statement. "I have reasons to believe that the family is of the opinion that I should take my share of responsibility, as unfounded as any allegations might be."
"As a consequence, I see the possibility of a continued successful board leadership to the benefit of Zurich called into question," he continued. "To avoid any damage to Zurich's reputation, I have decided to resign from all my board functions with immediate effect."
The board's vice chairman, Tom de Swaan, is taking over as acting chairman of Zurich, a major insurance provider that employs about 60,000 people in more than 170 countries.