Mark Machin, the head of Canada’s largest pension fund, has stepped down after a public backlash to his decision to travel to the Middle East to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a statement, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said Machin had travelled to the United Arab Emirates in a personal capacity and “arranged to be vaccinated against Covid-19”.

CPPIB said Machin had tendered his resignation after discussions with the board on Thursday evening.

Machin, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker in his mid 50s who has led CPPIB since 2016, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Disclosure of his trip, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, triggered outrage in Canada, where many elderly and vulnerable people are still waiting for the vaccine.

CPPIB, which manages about CA$450bn ($356bn) of assets, paid tribute to Machin’s leadership and announced another senior executive, John Graham, as his successor.



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