Insider promotion Sewing to succeed Deutsche Bank boss Cryan in boardroom shake-up

Christian Sewing, a deputy CEO of Deutsche Bank, will become the new boss of Germany’s biggest lender, replacing John Cryan in a bid to restore the bank's profitability.

Deutsche Bank's supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner has proposed that Christian Sewing take over as new CEO with immediate effect. John Cryan, the bank's current boss, will leave at the end of April.

Mr. Sewing, a German national, will replace Mr. Cryan at a time when the bank is trying to strengthen its brand in its home market. Mr. Cryan, a Briton, has been on the job less than three years, but investors have lost faith that he can restore the lender's profitability after three straight years of losses and a prolonged slump in the share price.

The promotion of Mr. Sewing, 47, who has a background in retail banking, auditing and risk, comes as Deutsche Bank and its major shareholders debate the path forward for the investment banking unit, where revenues have slowed and key staff defected. His appointment could signal a shift away from Deutsche Bank’s strategy of seeking profit growth through investment banking and giving investment bankers greater influence.

Mr. Sewing's appointment could herald a shift away from Deutsche Bank's strategy of seeking profit growth through investment banking.

The manner of Mr. Cryan's dismissal is unusual. The supervisory board meeting that sealed the decision took place via conference call, which Mr. Achleitner convened on Sunday evening at short notice. Moreover, he did not include the rest of his supervisory colleagues in the search for a replacement to Mr. Cryan, according to Handelsblatt.

After Mr. Sewing, Mr. Achleitner is installing two deputy CEOs, Karl von Rohr and Garth Ritchie. Marcus Schenck, currently Mr. Sewing’s fellow co-deputy CEO who helps oversee investment banking, has declared he will leave the bank after the annual general meeting next month. Following Mr. Schenk's departure, Mr. Ritchie alone will lead the division. Deutsche Bank declined to comment on these two appointments.

The winners of the shake-up include Frank Strauss, who will take over the private and commercial banking division following Mr. Sewing's promotion.

Yasmin Osman and Daniel Schäfer in Frankfurt reported this story for Handelsblatt. Jeremy Gray adapted this story for Handelsblatt Global. To contact the authors: d.schaefer@handelsblatt.com,osman@handelsblatt.com

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