SWITZERLAND - The chief executive of troubled Swiss bank UBS Marcel Rohner has resigned and is succeeded by Oswald J. Grübel.

Grübel left his position as ceo of Credit Suisse in February 2007 after four years in office. (See earlier IPE-story: Credit Suisse loses CEO)

"In early January 2009, Marcel Rohner informed the board of directors of his intention to retire as group CEO after the conclusion of the then ongoing investment bank repositioning and wealth management restructuring phase," said Peter Kurer, chairman of UBS, in a statement today.

It was also claimed Grübel's "broad experience in the banking sector, and in leading a financial services company through transformation, will be invaluable to UBS in this challenging environment".

"I am convinced that the Swiss financial centre requires the presence of more than one big global bank," added Grübel.

It was announced two weeks ago that Peter Wuffli, who had been replaced as group chief executive at UBS by Rohner in a surprise move in summer 2007, will be joining Swiss asset manager Partners Group. (See earlier IPE-article: Wednesday people roundup)

Herbert Brändli, head of the Swiss Pensionskasse Profond, one of the most outspoken critics of UBS, said he sees the new appointment as a positive step.

"Grübel has proven himself, has experience as a ‘fire fighter' at Credit Suisse and is indebted to no-one," Brändli told IPE.

He suggested the new chief executive has a good working background and network contacts for the job, even more so than Rohner had.

At UBS, Grübel will bring about a "radical change in style" though Brändli is convinced  heads will roll, adding "not many people at UBS will be a match for Grübel".

He hopes this will lead to Kurer's role as chairman becoming less significant as the Profond-head thinks the appointment of a legal adviser to this chairmanship was the wrong choice.

Nevertheless Brändli feels the market will react positively to this change.

"It is the best that could have happened in the current situation."

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email julie.henderson@ipe.com