UBS Directors Quit Amid Board Overhaul - TheStreet

Updated from 9:00 a.m. EDT


(UBS) - Get Report

on Tuesday said four directors would resign and unveiled new corporate governance strengthening the oversight role of its board, as the battered Swiss bank attempts to recover from deep losses amid the credit crunch.

Directors Stephan Haeringer, Rolf Meyer, Peter Spuhler and Lawrence Weinbach will resign their board seats in October, ahead of a planned Oct. 2 shareholder meeting, the company said in a statement. UBS said nominations for their replacements will be announced "in good time" before the meeting.

The overhaul of the board's make-up comes as the bank implements changes in structure devised by its Governance and Nominating Committee. The main elements of the new corporate governance structure call for a clear separation of the roles and responsibilities between the board and the bank's senior management, giving the board "a clear strategy setting responsibility," according to a company press release.

UBS also is scuttling its chairman's office and named non-executive Vice Chairman Sergio Marchionne to the newly created position of senior independent director.

"We have made a big step forward with the clear separation of the duties between the board and executive management and the abolition of the chairman's office," Chairman Peter Kurer said in the statement. "Thanks to the Governance and Nominating Committee, much has been achieved in a very short time and I am pleased with our progress. We have the foundations for the energetic and rigorous execution of our mandate."

UBS in the first quarter

wrote down $19.5 billion

in assets tied to U.S. real estate and structured credit. The bank had earlier warned of the losses, leading to the departures of former CEO Peter Wuffli and Chairman Marcel Ospel.

The bank, along with U.S. rivals


(C) - Get Report


Merrill Lynch


are among the hardest-hit firms in the credit crunch.

UBS shares were shedding 4.2% to $19.79 in recent trading.

This article was written by a staff member of