London Stock Exchange's chief executive Xavier Rolet has been asked to leave the company immediately, in a bid to quell an ongoing row with a major shareholders over his departure.
On 19 October Rolet announced he would leave the company by the end of next year after assisting LSE with the appointment of his successor. However, on Wednesday (29 November), the FTSE 100-listed group said he would instead vacate his role a year earlier than planned, adding Rolet was stepping down "at the board's request".
"Since the announcement of my future departure on 19 October, there has been a great deal of unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the company," Rolet said in a statement.
"At the request of the board, I have agreed to step down as chief executive with immediate effect. I will not be returning to the office of chief executive or director under any circumstances. I am proud of what we have achieved during the past eight-and-a-half years."
Following the Frenchman's announcement last month, Children's Investment Fund (TCI), which has a 5% stake in LSE, called an emergency general meeting to replace Donald Brydon as chairman and to reinstate Rolet, provided the latter could be persuaded to stay.
The plea, however, fell on deaf ears as Rolet, who has been in charge of LSE since 2009, was asked to leave earlier than planned and will now serve his 12-month notice on gardening leave.
David Warren, LSE's finance director, will replace the 58-year-old as interim CEO until a full-time replacement is found.
"The board is confident LSE will continue to prosper with David Warren as interim chief executive and the existing strong management team," said Brydon.
"They have deep knowledge of [the] business and helped shape, lead and execute its strategies.
"They are already working towards LSE's current three-year financial targets. I look forward to working with David and his team. We acknowledge, as I said last month, Xavier's immense – indeed transformative – contribution to the business."
On Tuesday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he was "mystified" by the ongoing row, adding that while Rolet had "made an extraordinary contribution" everything had to come to an end.
"I can't envisage a circumstance where a chief executive stays beyond the agreed period," he said. "But it's in the interest of all parties involved that clarity is provided as soon as possible."