Wirecard Fires Chief Operating Officer as it Reckons With Missing $2 Billion

George Paul · June 22, 2020
Wirecard
Editorial credit: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

German financial services provider Wirecard announced that its Chief Operating Officer, Jan Marsalek, has been dismissed from the company with immediate effect. Marsalek was initially suspended last week after financial irregularities within the company were brought to light.

Marsalek’s expulsion from the company follows news from late last week that Wirecard’s CEO, Markus Braun, had resigned his post. James Freis, a member of the company's management board who was slated to begin his role as Chief Compliance Officer on July 1, has been appointed interim CEO.

Wirecard has been rocked by an accounting scandal that exposed a €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) hole in its books. The missing money, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the company's assets, could not be located by EY. Wirecard’s management board has since stated that there is a “prevailing likelihood” that the bank trust account balances don’t exist.

Marsalek first joined Wirecard in 2001 as a project manager in the company’s payment services division. In 2002, he became Wirecard’s VP of Technology and Product Development, as well as the Managing Director of group subsidiaries. He was appointed to the company’s management board in 2010.

The company, which has over 5,800 employees in 26 countries, announced it is examining possible measures, including cost reductions as well as restructuring, disposal or termination of business units and product segments, to ensure its business operations can continue.

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