Donald Marron, who sold the brokerage PaineWebber to Swiss bank UBS last year, will step down as chairman of UBS PaineWebber, and will be replaced by president and chief executive Joe Grano, according to an internal company memo released on Wednesday.
Marron, who at one point was a candidate for chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, agreed to sell PaineWebber to UBS after a 20-year reign as head of the firm. Marron agreed to sell the company for $10.8 billion last July, a price that valued his stake in the company at $215 million.
Marron, who agreed to take the position of non-executive chairman of UBS PaineWebber, will remain chairman of UBS America and act as a senior adviser to UBS chairman Marcel Ospel.
Joe Grano has been president and chief executive of UBS PaineWebber since the merger deal was completed last November.
"I would like to thank Joe and Don for their efforts, and I look forward to working closely with them to further realize the promise of our combination," Ospel said in a memo to all UBS PaineWebber employees obtained by the Reuters news service.
The move allows Marron to spend more time on politics, an arena he is familiar with. He authored a 1999 bipartisan social security reform plan with two US senators.
Marron turned down an invitation last year from US president George W Bush to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to sources. He also met privately with Bush in New York two weeks ago, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Marron's decision to sell PaineWebber came as part of a wave of consolidations across the sector. He had been under pressure for some time to either sell to a larger institution or add investment banking services.
swissinfo with agencies