LSE CEO resigns, Chairman will not seek re-election

Xavier Rolet has resigned as CEO of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the organisation’s Chairman Donald Brydon will not seek to be re-elected, according to Reuters.

The announcement comes after a major shareholder, hedge fund TCI, called a shareholder meeting to challenge the LSE’s management succession plans. TCI accused Brydon of trying to push Rolet out, and sought to oust Brydon instead.

The LSE’s statement said there had been “a great deal of unwelcome publicity” around Rolet’s departure and that this “has not been helpful to the company.” Rolet said: “At the request of the board, I have agreed to step down as CEO with immediate effect. I will not be returning to the office of CEO or director under any circumstances.”

Rolet has been at the head of the LSE for more than eight years. He had previously said he would leave at the end of 2018. Brydon has confirmed he will not seek re-election as Chairman at the company’s AGM in 2019.

The LSE is facing a challenging period as some of its derivatives clearing business passes to Deutsche Boerse due to Brexit. There has been speculation that the LSE could be subject to a takeover bid by a rival such as ICE, although it may be difficult to obtain approval of competition authorities for such a deal.

UBS analyst Michael Werner said that Rolet leaving the LSE indicated an uncertainty about future direction: “With concerns increasing about the ability of (LSE unit) LCH to maintain share of the over-the-counter clearing business in a Brexit scenario, the timing of Mr Rolet’s departure could pose a challenge for the firm defending its market share from Deutsche Boerse.”