Wirecard CEO Markus Braun resigns with immediate effect

Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has resigned with immediate effect, the company announced Friday.

The German payment processor said Braun’s resignation is in mutual consent with the supervisory board. Wirecard has now appointed James H. Freis as interim CEO. Freis joined the company’s management board just yesterday.

Braun’s resignation comes just a day after Wirecard announced that its auditor EY is unable to find evidence for 1.9 billion euros (over $2 billion) worth of cash balances on its trust accounts. Wirecard said “spurious” balances may have been provided by a third party “in order to deceive the auditor”.

Wirecard's subsidiary Wirecard Card Solutions issues Crypto.com's MCO Visa Card and TenX's Visa Debit Card. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek told The Block yesterday that the news doesn’t affect them since the firm’s Wirecard debit cards are "fully prefunded." It means clients' fiat funds are held by an electronic money institution regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in segregated client accounts.

Shares of Wirecard have taken a beating. They were down by more than 50% yesterday, and are currently down by around 75%, to trade at about 25 euros (~$28) apiece.