Vienna Insurance CEO Leaves Over Strategy; Stadler Successor

  • Hagen leaves prematurely due to `differences in opinion'
  • Stadler, current head of domestic unit, to take over next year

Vienna Insurance Group AG, Austria’s biggest insurer, said Chief Executive Officer Peter Hagen will leave the company over strategic differences later this month, more than two years before the end of his term.

The company named Elisabeth Stadler as a successor, according to a statement published shortly before the close of trading on Wednesday. Stadler, 54, is the head of Donau Versicherung, one of Vienna Insurance’s domestic units. She will be the only woman serving as CEO of one of the 20 companies on Austria’s leading stock index, the ATX.

“Due to differences in opinion regarding the future strategic orientation and steering of the group, Peter Hagen will be leaving his position,” Vienna Insurance said. His term would have lasted until June 2018.

Last week, the company announced a 195 million-euro ($206 million) impairment on its IT systems, more than halving net income for the first three quarters and casting doubt over its dividend. During Hagen’s tenure, which started in June 2012, Vienna Insurance also suffered losses in Romania and Italy as well as on bonds owed by bad bank Heta Asset Resolution AG.

A spokesman for Vienna Insurance declined to comment on the nature of the strategic differences.

Vienna Insurance shares slid 1.4 percent as of 9:44 a.m. on Thursday, widening the total loss during Hagen’s term as CEO to 5 percent. The Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance index rose 125 percent in the period.

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