Sept. 12 - Former Zurich Insurance chairman Josef Ackermann distances himself from the suicide of the company's CFO, Pierre Wauthier, hitting out at claims he was partly responsible for the death last month. Kirsty Basset reports.
A suicide which rocked corporate Switzerland, and now an explanation. Former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann resigned as chairman of Zurich Insurance last month, following the suicide of the company's CFO, Pierre Wauthier. Now he's hitting out at claims he was to blame for the death. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER DEUTSCHE BANK CEO, JOSEF ACKERMANN, SAYING: "The suicide of the financial chief of Zurich came as a real surprise to everyone. I must however strongly reject the fact that I was made partly responsible for his suicide in a letter from the deceased. His accusations towards me are in no way comprehensible. The financial chief never once complained about me in any way to anyone else." Ackermann was named in the CFO's suicide letter. At the time of the death, he said in a statement the family believed he shared some of the blame. He says he has not been in contact with them. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER DEUTSCHE BANK CEO, JOSEF ACKERMANN, SAYING: "It was of course a very tragic case, there is no question about this, but I didn't find what happened afterwards and these accusations very fair." (JOURNALIST ASKING WHAT KIND OF A PERSON THE MAN WAS) "I didn't know him well enough. I wasn't his boss. I had very little contact with him." In a further retreat from corporate life, Ackermann has now announced he will resign from the board of engineering firm Siemens. It follows a clash with fellow directors over whether or not to oust Chief Executive Peter Loescher, who was later replaced by finance chief Joe Kaeser.