Royal Bank of Scotland CEO to Step Down

Joe Goldman  |

Stephen Hester is resigning as the CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) after almost five years as the chief executive of the bank.

In a news release on the bank’s website, Hester explained that is resignation is all about timing. RBS, which is 81 percent owned by the British government, is about to begin an enormous privatization process. Hester “was unable to make that open-ended commitment following five years in the job already,” and the company believes that a new CEO should lead this grueling, important process.

Hester will receive no bonus for 2013, but will earn £1.6 million in benefits and as much £4 million from long-term incentives. The search for a successor will begin immediately.

Hester spoke positively about his performance as CEO. During his tenure, “we have reduced the bank’s balance sheet by nearly a trillion pounds, repaid hundreds of billions of taxpayer support, and removed the imminent threat that this bank’s size and complexity posed to the UK economy.”

RBS shareholders seem to agree that Hester was a good leader, as shares reacted negatively to the news. The stock dropped 3.14 percent during afternoon trading to $9.91, down 5 percent since shares began trading in the morning.

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