Mr. Sewing (his name is pronounced "saving") is not expected to radically change the bank's direction, but he will face pressure to move more aggressively than Mr. Cryan, whose dismissal had been widely rumored in recent weeks. He was appointed to the helm of Deutsche in 2015 to overhaul the bank after years of rapid growth under investment bankers.
His appointment would be a blow to co-deputy Marcus Schenck, long considered a future CEO. He has worked most of his life at Deutsche - except for a two-year stint at a smaller lender - and commutes back to his wife and four children in Osnabrueck on weekends, more than 320km away from the German financial capital.
"The new leadership team will not accept this anymore", Sewing said in the letter, which Deutsche Bank published on its website on Monday. He vowed to take "tough decisions" to return the bank to profitability.
Given sole command of the lender in 2016 after the departure of co-CEO Juergen Fitschen, Cryan's task was to restructure Deutsche and clean up the toxic legacy of its pre-financial crisis bid to compete with global investment banking giants.
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Deutsche Bank has had three years of losses, and its net loss widened in the fourth quarter.
Paul Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented on the new appointment: "In his more than 25 years at Deutsche Bank Christian Sewing has proven himself a strong and disciplined leader".
'The supervisory board in general and I personally are grateful for this. Sewing needs to rejuvenate the bank's cost-cutting plan, which means reducing its U.S. operations "to free up capital, cost and reduce leverage exposure, improving ROE".
"This will hit Deutsche Bank's London presence particularly hard, where the bulk of its investment banking activity is based".
While Hirt said he found Sewing a "credible, internal candidate", he noted that this is the third chief executive change during Achleitner's six-year tenure. He held top positions in risk management at the bank and was its chief auditor until being named to the management board in 2015.
The bank had to pay US$7.2 billion (S$9.5 billion) previous year to settle a US Justice Department probe into its mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis, and it has also incurred heavy fines for manipulating benchmark interest rates and for its lax anti-money laundering controls in Russian Federation.