A German news outlet has reported that Wirecard’s chairman, Wulf Matthias, will stand down after his current term with the company ends, according to Reuters.
German daily Handelsblatt reported the news on Friday (April 26), and it also said that because Matthias is 75, continuing in the position wouldn’t be an option regardless.
Matthias will stay in the position until his terms ends in 2020. Wirecard did not comment to Reuters.
Wirecard has lately been embroiled in a scandal involving a series of articles written by the Financial Times alleging financial malfeasance in its Singapore office, accounts the company has vigorously denied.
At the end of last month, the company filed a lawsuit against the news organization, at the Munich regional court in Germany, and named both the FT and the reporter who wrote the stories, Dan McCrum. Wirecard would seek compensation if the suit is successful.
“Our objective is to seek a halt to the incorrect use of business secrets for the purposes of reporting, as well as damages,” Wirecard said in a statement.
The basis of the articles was a whistleblower at Wirecard who said the company’s Singapore office was engaged in faulty accounting. After the articles came out, Wirecard’s shares plummeted and the company lost billions in value. Singapore police also started an investigation.
The company fired back in response to FT’s articles, saying the reporting was “false, inaccurate, misleading and defamatory.”
On March 25, Wirecard said an outside investigation by law firm Rajah & Tann found that the office in Singapore might have committed some crimes, but that the German office wasn’t part of it.
“The review … did not reveal findings of criminality in respect of the headquarters of Wirecard,” the company said. “Criminal liability may, however, be attributable to individual local employees in Singapore, according to local law.”
“This underpins our view that the whole negative stance from FT was exaggerated, and once more created a strong buying opportunity for fundamental investors,” said Hauck & Aufhaeuser Analyst Robin Brass about the investigation.