Struggling Swiss bank UBS has sacked its chief executive in an attempt to revive its fortunes.
The bank saw a decline in year-on-year profits for shareholders in its first-quarter results and recently closed its Dillon Reed Capital Management hedge fund, prompting speculation that shareholder dissatisfaction could be on the up.
In an apparent response the services of Peter Wuffli, 49, who has been chief executive for the market leader in Switzerland since 2007, have today been dispensed with.
"The board of directors is extremely grateful to Peter Wuffli for his substantial contribution to the growth of UBS, especially to the expansion of its franchise, market position and brand strength," a statement said.
UBS explained it had decided to "institute generational change only in operational management" after rejecting a request from the bank's chairman, Marcel Ospel, that he resign his position.
Replacing Mr Wuffli is Marcel Rohner, who was named deputy chief executive in January 2006.
UBS justified his appointment by saying, as head of the firm's Global Wealth Management and Business Banking division, he had "managed the business that had made the largest contribution to the firm's revenues and profit".
Shares in UBS closed down 0.62 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, before this morning's announcement.