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Jordan Henderson's Ajax 'set to sack' new CEO Alex Kroes after just two weeks

Jordan Henderson's Ajax 'set to sack' new CEO Alex Kroes after just two weeks

Ajax are set to sack their new CEO after just two weeks.

Ajax are set to sack their new CEO after just over two weeks in the job.

The Dutch giants have suspended CEO Alex Kroes after he “likely engaged in insider trading” before his appointment back in August.

On Tuesday, Ajax released a statement stating that Kroes had been suspended from his role “with immediate effect and (the club) intends to terminate the collaboration permanently”.

Ajax said the decision followed external legal advice after they learnt that the 49-year-old had purchased over 17,000 shares in the club before his appointment last year on August 2.

It is a criminal offence to engage in insider trading, which is the buying and selling of stocks based on privileged information.

Kroes only began working as the club’s CEO 18 days ago on March 15.

Michael van Praag, chairman of Ajax’s supervisory board, said: “We are deeply dismayed that this has occurred at Ajax, as it is highly detrimental to the club and everyone who holds it dear to them.

“Alex Kroes’s actions are not in line with what Ajax stands for. The timing of his share purchase indicates insider trading. Such a violation of the law cannot be tolerated by a publicly listed company, especially when it involves the CEO.

“After careful consideration, the Supervisory Board has therefore concluded that Alex’s position as a director of Ajax is untenable. I want to emphasise that the technical policy will continue with the individuals in place and on the path Ajax was already on with Alex.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Kroes insisted that “I bought every Ajax share myself” and claimed that Ajax’s supervisory board were “already aware” of his share package in the club. He added that he provided “full disclosure” about all relevant assets, including his 42,500 shares in the club.

“In the period from April 6, 2022, to July 26, 2023, I purchased Ajax shares in bits and pieces, increasing to 42,500 shares (of the total of 18.33million existing Ajax shares),” Kroes said.

“On December 31, 2022, I already had 20,000 pieces. I purchased another part in the months of April, May and June 2023. I purchased the last part (approximately 17,500 pieces) on July 26, 2023, shortly before my appointment on August 2, 2023.”

While admitted to having a “good feeling” about his appointment, he stressed that he had “not yet agreed” his move to Ajax at that time.

Kroes had been Ajax CEO for just 18 days (Getty)
Kroes had been Ajax CEO for just 18 days (Getty)

He said: “I thought it was a positive signal to radiate confidence in the club and to shareholders.”

Kroes added that to “radiate confidence” to his fellow shareholders he bought shares to “run financial risks” himself. He insisted that he did so as a means of proving he had “skin in the game”.

“After July 26, 2023, and, to avoid any misunderstandings, since I have access to any confidential information, I have not bought or sold any Ajax shares,” Kroes added.

“While it’s not impossible that I could make money with these stocks in the longer term, that certainly hasn’t been the case to date. There is certainly no ‘quick win’ idea behind it, I first wanted to ensure that things would go very well for Ajax in all kinds of areas.

“I now understand, after consultation with my lawyer, that I did not make the wisest decision on July 26, 2023, due to the appearance of the situation.

“This does not alter the fact that a number of questions can still be asked about the qualification as ‘inside information’ and therefore certainly the severity of the decision of summary dismissal by the Supervisory Board.”

He added: “The Ajax supervisory board has already ruled that I apparently do not have the ‘correct moral compass’. A compass that, conversely, I would have liked to see the supervisory board use in recent months. The supervisory board earlier this week labelled the purchase of the last portion of shares as nothing more than ‘unfortunate’.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Ajax, Football