June 8, 2015 / 10:38 AM / 2 years ago

Board chief reassures staff after Deutsche Bank CEO switch

LONDON (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) two chief executives had approached the supervisory board with their decision to resign, the board head said on Monday in a memo aimed at reassuring staff concerned about the sudden change of helm at the lender.

The departures of co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen and their surprise replacement with John Cryan sent shares in Germany's largest lender up 8 percent on Monday as investors judged the Briton a more credible contender than his departing predecessors to implement a five-year strategic plan designed to revive the bank's fortunes.

"Juergen and Anshu approached me with their decision because they felt that with Strategy 2020 in place, now is the right time for a new leader to see through its delivery over the next five years," supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner told staff in a memo seen by Reuters.

Achleitner stressed that incoming CEO Cryan was a seasoned professional, a German-speaker, and that he was not associated with any of the activities that has seen Deutsche become the target of heavy fines and burdensome investigations.

"He brings an external perspective but is deeply familiar with Deutsche Bank; he has experience in our industry but is unassociated with legacy matters," Achleitner wrote.Achleitner moved to head off criticism by praising their decision to step down early as an impressive demonstration of putting the company's interests ahead of their own.

"Any criticism leveled at their leadership cannot be allowed to overshadow their substantial, decades-long contributions to our bank," he said.

Reporting by Alex Smith, writing by Thomas Atkins; editing by Anna Willard

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