LONDON (Agefi-Dow Jones) – The chairman of Wirecard AG has resigned from his post, with immediate effect, a measure which, according to the German specialist in electronic payments, aimed at improving its corporate governance.
Wulf Matthias, president of the company since 2008, will be replaced by Thomas Eichelmann, who joined the board of directors in mid-2019 and heads its audit committee.
Wirecard announced this change on Friday at 11:00 p.m., following a vote by the board of directors. Wulf Matthias will remain a member of the company’s supervisory board until the expiration of his term in 2021.
Lawyers for a group of individual shareholders are still planning to appeal Monday for a special meeting and put pressure on Wirecard to have the company conduct a more rigorous review of its financial reports.
Wirecard, one of the most important European fintechs, posting one of the strongest growths in the sector, made its entry last year in the DAX 30 index, replacing the banking group Commerzbank.
Its electronic payment activity processes transactions from online and store businesses and operates in particular in areas deemed to be risky, such as gambling, betting and pornography.
“We view (this departure) as a step to improve our corporate governance,” said a spokeswoman for Wirecard. “Wulf has reached the age of 75. Everyone is grateful for his contribution, but it is time to organize for a change of generation,” added the spokesperson.
Wirecard faced a series of questions and allegations from specialist funds in short sales and the media about its accounting practices, particularly regarding its significant operations in Asia. Wirecard is currently the subject of an investigation by the Singapore police branch dedicated to commercial activities.
Society has always had no irregularities. Some large investors have put pressure on the group in private to improve its financial reports and transparency, according to people familiar with the matter.
-Paul J. Davies, The Wall Street Journal
(French version Eric Chalmet) ed: VLV
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