Morgan Stanley CEO Philip Purcell today announced he plans to retire by March 2006, amid growing pressure from shareholders. The announcement came as Morgan Stanley warned that it expects second-quarter profit to fall short of forecasts, citing weakened market conditions. In a letter to Morgan Stanley employees, Mr. Purcell said he would retire after a successor is named, but no later than March 2006. Morgan Stanley's board has begun a search for a new chairman and chief executive. The board hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to find a successor. "It will be an inside/outside search," and Morgan Stanley will most likely take its time, according to the source.
"He was pushed out, and I think it may stop the hemorrhaging" among other key personnel, according to a source familiar with the matter who did not want to be identified. "The board met and decided it just wasn't working. I don't have any knowledge of others being pushed out," the source added.
Mr. Purcell has led Morgan Stanley since 1997.