Werner Seifert, the Deutsche Börse chief executive officer who has failed twice to acquire the London Stock Exchange, has resigned from the company along with exchange chairman Rolf Breuer.
The decision was made at an extraordinary supervisory board meeting held today. Deutsche Börse says a further three members of its supervisory board will also resign.
In a statement, Deutsche Börse says Seifert will leave the company immediately, while Breuer will leave the exchange at the end of the year.
Seifert has been under increasing pressure at Deutsche Börse after shareholders - including Fidelity and London-based TCI Fund Management - revolted against his latest plans to acquire the LSE.
Seifert first attempted to take over the LSE four years ago but the deal was foiled by London shareholders - at the time LSE was owned by its members - and a hostile bid from Nordic stock exchange operator OM Group.
The German exchange was eventually forced to drop its second takeover bid in March, although it reserved the right to bid again in the future and its proposal is currently being investigated, along with Euronext's bid for the LSE, by the UK's Competition Commission.
Lord Levene, chairman of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, resigned from the Deutsche Börse's supervisory board in April. According to a Financial Times report Levene left the board after Seifert refused to give in to shareholder demands for his own resignation.
In today's statement, Breuer says the decisions to change the supervisory and executive boards were taken after extensive consultation with shareholders: "We want to put an end to the recent debate with some of our shareholders."
Deutsche Börse says Seifert's successor will be recruited from outside the company. In the meantime chief financial officer Mathias Hlubek will be coordinating the firm's executive board.