A long—and winding—road to CEO for Credit Suisse’s new recruit

Fortune

Had it not been for a coup, Tidjane Thiam would probably have not risen to the top ranks of the financial world.

For a few months in late 1999 and early 2000, Thiam— who was named as the new CEO of Credit Suisse on Tuesday—was a prisoner of the state, under house arrest, in his home country of Côte d’Ivoire. Thiam was then asked to work for the military government that had taken over control of the country. He said no. A few months after he was released, Thiam fled the country. He has not returned.

“He would only want to work with a democratic regime,” Aka Manouan, a childhood friend of Thiam, told The Telegraph in 2011. “Democracy, accountability, the rule of law, the strength of the market, these are the things very close to [Thiam’s] heart.”

And that’s perhaps why, despite the fact that he has…

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