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Deutsche Boerse board discusses Plan B amid CEO investigation: WirtschaftsWoche

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse's <DB1Gn.DE> supervisory board has discussed contingency plans in case CEO Carsten Kengeter has to step down amid an investigation over possible insider trading, German magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported on Wednesday.

Deputy CEO Andreas Preuss and CFO Gregor Pottmeyer were the two names considered to possibly take the helm of the German exchange operator, the magazine reported, citing an unnamed source.

A spokesman for Deutsche Boerse declined to comment on the meeting.

"As a rule, we don't discuss the agenda of topics of the supervisory board," he said.

An internal newsletter seen by Reuters said that the insider trading probe, which dates back to the failed attempt to merge with London Stock Exchange, was weighing on staff morale.

"We can't recall that there has ever been such severe damage to reputation in the long history of our company," said the newsletter, which was written by the company's works council.

"This is resulting in a dampened mood among the workforce," the newsletter said.

"Conversations with colleagues show that this is not just extremely embarrassing, but is also resulting in great uncertainty and worry."

WirtschaftsWoche first reported the statements in the newsletter.

Carsten Kengeter and Deutsche Boerse have denied any wrongdoing in the purchase of shares the CEO made just months before the official merger talks were announced.

(Reporting by Andreas Framke; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Andrew Bolton)