The double-CEO structure seemed like a great idea at the time: back in 2011, the bank thought it the best way to alleviate concerns surrounding placing investment banker Jain at the top. Fitschen would be the co-CEO dedicated for the German market.
Jain’s personality, and above all his career as an investment banker, was always going to raise fears and criticisms in Europe’s biggest economy — even more so in the aftermath of the financial crisis, according to CNBC.
This in the end, and the question of what Jain knew about all Deutsche Bank’s past wrongdoings when he was head of their investment bank, was too much to get through. According to people familiar with the matter, he resigned not to be in the way of the bank going forward.
Is there ever room at the top for two? Nasdaq writer Rachel Feintzeig doesn’t think so. “Management styles continue to shift from command and control to collaboration, and chief executives are likely to tap lieutenants or a board chairman for help navigating complicated business challenges,” she says. “But truly sharing power in the C-suite remains rare, with co-CEO arrangements at Whole Foods Market Inc., Oracle Corp. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. serving as notable exceptions.”
“It’s really not in the human psyche of most folks,” David Heenan, visiting professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a co-author of “Co-Leaders: The Power of Great Partnerships told Feintzeig. “To do the co-CEO [model] and do it effectively is fraught with danger.”