UBS CEO Quits: A Sacrificial Lamb Was Necessary

Photo: AP

In good times and in bad times – the buck stops at the top and in an era where the entire world suffers from economic recession and lack of faith in institutions, Oswald Gruebel, CEO of UBS was a necessary sacrificial lamb and rightfully resigned Saturday. He stood up and took blame for the $2.3 billion loss which a rogue trader has confessed to losing.We are living in amazingly unique times – only a few years after the Madoff scandal – and its an awful black eye for UBS that they don’t have tighter risk controls and management oversight.  The institution was troubled prior to this scandal – having announced just last month they intend to fire 3,500 more people to cut jobs – and this scandal wont make things easier.

While this will now mark 4 CEO’s since 2007 and they lost almost a fifth of client assets recently, this scandal shows the UBS institution attempting to take responsibility – and wisely doing so quickly.

While I don’t believe that this will end questions for UBS about how this could have happened – it does allow them to try and blame some of this on a regime no longer affiliated with the institution, and to put new procedures in place. They will rightfully be harmed and affected – but this will make it easier to proceed.

At my Crisis PR Agency, when we are approached with client problems, we tell them a fundamental rule is to act firmly, quickly and decisively to start the road to recovery.  Gruebel’s resignation is certainly a positive 1st step.

Ronn Torossian  is the CEO of Top 25 US PR firm 5WPR & author of the just released PR book: “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations”

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