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Wirecard Loses Board Member Under Pressure From TCI

By Jonathan Braude

German digital payments company Wirecard AG on Thursday, April 30, said non-executive director Susana Quintana-Plaza has resigned from its supervisory board, saying she had “assumed an executive position with a group of companies abroad” and needed to concentrate on her operational responsibilities there.

The announcement made no mention of the April 28 call from activist investor Chris Hohn, of TCI Fund Management Ltd., for the removal of Wirecard CEO Markus Braun and has not published a response to TCI’s letter. It also made no mention of the investigation by KPMG into the company’s accounts. Wirecard earlier tried to portray the KPMG report as a vindication, although the investigation failed to resolve the doubts it was hired to look into.

Wirecard did not say where Quintana-Plaza has taken up her new role, although it did say her resignation had been effective from April 7, before the KPMG report was published.

According to data from Boardex, a relationship-mapping sister company of The Deal, the 45-year-old has been chief operating officer of the renewables and new business division of Portuguese energy company Galp Energia SGPS SA since April 2019 and has held management or executive roles in the past at German utility E.ON SE and GE Energy (UK) Ltd. She has been on the Wirecard board since June 2018.

Wirecard said her replacement on the supervisory board will be IT specialist Hauke Stars, 52, who sits on the management board of Frankfurt Stock Exchange operator Deutsche Börse AG as director of labor relations and has additional responsibility for IPOs, share trading and start-up promotion. According to Boardex she is due to step down from the Deutsche Börse board with effect form June 30.

Wirecard Chairman Thomas Eichelmann said the company intends to propose Stars for election at its next annual general meeting of shareholders and will also seek to enlarge the supervisory board with two, as yet unnamed, additional directors.

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