BREAKING: Klaus Schwab to step down as executive chairman of World Economic Forum

Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman, will be stepping down from his post. 

Schwab, who founded the international organization that holds annual gatherings in 1971, announced his intention to step down in an email sent to staff. A person connected to the organization shared the email with Semafor

Schwab said he would be stepping down as executive chairman and transitioning into a different role. He added that the change is pending approval by the Swiss government but should be in place ahead of the World Economic Forum’s 2025 annual meeting. 

While Schwab, 86, has not named his successor, he said that over the last year the group’s executive board, "under the leadership of President Børge Brende, has taken full executive responsibility." Brende is a former Norwegian conservative leader. 

Schwab and his organization have come under fire for the annual meeting that sees government figures and business leaders come together.

Among those who have criticized the group is Elon Musk, who wrote during the 2023 annual meeting, "WEF is increasingly becoming an unelected world government that the people never asked for and don't want." 

Donald Trump’s potential return to the presidency brought concerns from those who attended the 2024 meeting in January.

"You know, we’ve been there before, we survived it, so we’ll see what it means," BlackRock Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand said. "Certainly, from a European perspective, from a kind of globalist, Atlanticist perspective, it’s of course a great concern."

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde thought that Trump returning to the White House was "obviously a threat" in an interview the week before the elite meeting that she attends regularly.  

Schwab previously commended China's "achievements," and suggested the nation could be a "role model" for others around the world in an interview with Chinese Communist Party-owned broadcaster CGTN.

"I respect China's achievements … over the last forty years," Schwab said, later adding that "the Chinese model is certainly a very attractive model for quite a number of countries."

This is a breaking story. Please refresh the page for updates. 

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