Board Asks Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's Acting CEO to Stay at Post Amid Leadership Crisis

Directors' decision is slap in face for Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Chairman Amnon Neubach.

The entrance of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Bloomberg

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange acting CEO Gal Landau-Yaari will stay, after the board rebelled against its chairman at a stormy emergency meeting Thursday and asked her to withdraw her letter of resignation.

The meeting came days after Landau-Yaari said she would step down at the end of the year even though a permanent replacement hasn’t been found for Yossi Beinart, who stepped down due to illness last month.

The vote was a slap in the face to TASE Chairman Amon Neubach, who reportedly was behind Landau-Yaari’s decision to leave. The meeting, called by Neubach, came amid reports that many directors wanted the chairman himself to step down.

“Another man would have had a resignation letter ready and gone home, but Neubach is tough enough to take the blows,” said one board member, who asked not to be named, after the vote.

Thursday's meeting came amid a deepening leadership crisis at the TASE, which has been struggling with declining turnover and the number of listed companies. Neubach and Beinart were hired in 2014 in a bid to turn the bourse around, but their efforts failed amid internecine disputes and the depth of the problems they faced.

Gal Landau-Yaari
Yariv Dagan

Before the meeting, sources reported that at least one director was trying to assemble votes to force out Neubach and that Landau-Yaari was prepared to stay on as acting CEO if they succeeded.

A director, who asked not to be identified, said the drive to oust Neubach began in August, when he sought to assume the powers of Beinart, who took a leave of absence in June due to illness. Neubach’s plan was never formally brought to the board, but sources said it left a sour taste for many directors.

Nevertheless, on Thursday the board was reportedly not ready to force Neubach to resign. “The bourse’s situation is worrying, but we’re not coming into the meeting united on a decision to force out Neubach,” said one before the meeting.

Sources said Neubach would only leave if Shmuel Hauser, the Israel Securities Authority chairman behind the ouster of the TASE’s previous CEO and chairman, openly supported the move.

The tussle over Landau-Yaari follows a management exodus at the TASE. The latest departure was Ronen Horowitz, who tendered his resignation as head of technology in August after just three months at the job. Efforts to build a $20 million trading system in cooperation with the Nasdaq have been blocked by the union.