Zurich CFO’s Suicide Followed Disagreement on Business Targets

By Paul Arnold, Alice Baghdjian and Katharina Bart | September 6, 2013

  • September 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    elizabeth says:
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    Sadly, for some people, work is life.
    The article doesn’t say – how did he kill himself?

  • September 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    Cheetoh Mulligan says:
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    A typed suicide note??? Sounds like a mystery, bring in Columbo or Sherlock Holmes.

    • September 9, 2013 at 10:05 am
      copperpipes says:
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      And…….why would you answer company emails up to the day if you were planning suicide? There’s a lot of power that high up in any company…may have been silenced and made to look like suicide.?

  • September 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm
    Doug J says:
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    You know, when the first story broke I made a comment that I hoped it was not related to his work and several fellow readers gave me a thumbs down. But now we see it was very likely related to stresses in the company. There is usually another shoe or two to drop. Please refer to Enron, sometimes it takes awhile to come out.

    • September 9, 2013 at 11:57 am
      Libby says:
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      Doug J – you can say it’s 75 and sunny here and get thumbed down on this blog.

  • September 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    A claims person says:
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    Suicide is the ultimate act of displaced anger, IMHO. The real losers in this are his family, especially his children who will never wrap their heads around it completely, and his coworkers and community who obviously held him in high regard.

    It is almost always the more courageous course of action to soldier on. I watched my brother, who was brilliant and had serious mental instability, put one foot in front of the other for years until his death from cancer, living with his own personal demons. It is possible and almost always, better for survivors.

  • September 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    lonestar says:
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    perhaps this Zurich employee was also feeling guilt about all the Farmers agents whose lives are being ruined by Farmers terminating long term agents for no cause, and stealing their agencies…

  • September 9, 2013 at 8:25 am
    CBUnderwriter says:
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    Tragic story, but I it reminds me that we must work to live, not live to work. While I enjoy my work, there is nothing that takes priority over my family. I can’t imagine anything work-related that would warrant taking my own life and leaving my family to deal with that hurt and pain.

  • September 9, 2013 at 9:36 am
    txagt says:
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    Sad commentary on ultimate greed as evidenced by the ripple effect on all Farmers Insurance Group employees, agents, and customers who are being price grouged and priced out of the market. Insanity at it’s best will be the downfall of what use to be a great insurance company.

  • September 9, 2013 at 10:29 am
    sam says:
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    perhaps this is a reflection on the cut-throat nature of this pathetic company! they do nothing good for their employees

  • September 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm
    Gregory S says:
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    Zurich US has been plagued by poor claim service. This obsession for increase share price could be the reason for lack of attention on claim service. I suggest that had this leader turned his focus to these matters the share price of their stock would have responded naturally in kind. What a shame.

    • September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm
      Libby says:
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      Low share prices are directly linked to poor management and it trickles down to all areas of a company. Poor leadership breeds apathy and mediocrity.

  • September 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm
    Clark says:
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    Again, why do the Chinese workers have nets outside their high rise factories?

    Sometimes, suicide is a way out if the family benefits financially or relief in some way.

    People often kill themselves for financial reasons.

  • September 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    Jon says:
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    A member of my extended family committed suicide. She was a very successful businesswoman and the story was carried by NYT, WSJ, and several hundred other news outlets. People who had absolutely no knowledge of her situation felt no reservations whatsoever leaving speculative posts alleging bank corruption similar to what I see here.

    When you comment know this – Pierre Wauthier’s family may read this story & his colleagues will certainly read it. If you wouldn’t say it directly to them, don’t leave the comment. Suicide is a tragedy that rarely can be understood. Only people who have not been personally impacted by something like try to rationalize it.

  • September 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm
    knowall says:
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    Being male and having gone through a divorce it does enter our minds when you feel your back is against the wall, that the world would be better off without you. Men are generally expected to be more stoic emotionally, with not many emotional outlets; esp. with much of their identity tied to their success at work. We usually don’t want to come home and unload on family members who don’t understand the problem, anyway. As the other posts here say work should not be the ultimate priority or authority in life.

    If any readers are even considering it don’t do it; get professional and clerical help; even implore your ancestors to help get you through!

    • October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm
      Robert says:
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      Whether Mr Wauthier died as a result of a suicide or not, most people not familiar with Mental Illness do not know that Suicide is usually caused by Major Depression, which is a part of Mental Illness, most of the time the person themselves don’t understand their own feelings, this makes it near impossible for others to understand why they act and do certain things. Some blame the person for being selfish but they do not know how much emotional suffering this individual is privately going through on a daily basis and again, they do not understand Mental Illness.

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