Zurich Insurance Group chairman Josef Ackermann has resigned from his post claiming that he felt pressure to step down following the death of chief financial officer Pierre Wauthier.
Ackermann is replaced by vice-chairman of the board Tom de Swaan who becomes acting chairman.
Ackermann said: "The unexpected death of Pierre Wauthier has deeply shocked me. I have reasons to believe that the family is of the opinion that I should take my share of responsibility, as unfounded as any allegations might be.
"As a consequence, I see the possibility of a continued successful Board leadership to the benefit of Zurich called into question. To avoid any damage to Zurich's reputation, I have decided to resign from all my Board functions with immediate effect."
De Swann added: "Working with the Board and Management, I am determined to lead Zurich's continued success."
Updating your subscription status
Insurance companies have high digital ambitions but have failed to take action and embrace the digital world.
Insurers and reinsurers will benefit from the next, and much more transformative, USD100 billion of alternative capital that will enter the reinsurance business over the next five years. Aon Benfield's report examines the trends seen in the global reinsurance industry during the first half of 2013.
The insurance claims process in the London market has seen relatively little change since the 17th century. However, innovative insurers are driving change as they aim to gain a competitive advantage. This paper studies how technology will revolutionise claims management practices by 2020.
As online fraudsters have become more sophisticated in their activity, the threat of cyber crime has grown exponentially. Despite several high-profile cyber attacks on major corporations, the insurance industry is still behind the times when it comes to cyber liability. How can it catch up?