Unicredit CEO steps down amid investor discontent

Unicredit CEO Federico Ghizzoni has agreed to resign following days of speculation about his future amid investor discontent over the performance of Italy's largest bank.

The bank said in a statement after an extraordinary board meeting Tuesday that Ghizzoni would remain in his post until a successor is named, adding simply that "conditions are ripe for a change in top management."

The bank's shares have dropped by nearly 40 percent this year amid concerns over its weak capital position and low profitability.

Ghizzoni's nearly six-year tenure spanned the sovereign debt crisis and Italian recession, and has been marked recently by cost-cutting and moves to shrink its impaired loans.

Unicredit shares closed up 4.87 percent at 3.06 euros ($3.43) in anticipation of the board meeting.