CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Craig Donohue, chief executive officer (CEO) of the CME Group, plans to step down from the position when his contract expires in December, the CME board of directors said on March 12.

As part of the company's succession plan, the board has appointed Terrence Duffy, who is currently executive chairman, to the expanded role of executive chairman and president and current President Phupinder Gill to CEO when Donohue's contract expires.

Additionally, the board extended Duffy's and Gill's contract agreements. Donohue, Duffy and Gill, who have worked together in the office of the CEO for the last eight years, will work together over the next several months for an orderly leadership transition.

Upon implementation of the company succession plan, Duffy will continue to take a hands-on approach in the key external-facing functions of government relations, corporate marketing and communications, formalizing oversight of the areas in which he already is significantly involved. 

Gill, who will report to Duffy, will be responsible for all other aspects of running the company, including clearing, technology & enterprise computing, global operations, enterprise solutions, products & services, legal & market regulation, research & product development, finance & corporate development, product marketing, and human resources. 

The current management team also will remain in place. Duffy and Gill will continue to work together to set the organization's vision and strategic direction, while expanding CME Group's core businesses, developing new growth opportunities, and further strengthening the operations of the company.

"Under Craig's guidance, CME Group has grown into the preeminent global derivatives exchange company," said Duffy. "He has performed an enormous service to CME as CEO and in numerous other roles over the years as our exchange and the industry have evolved. His many contributions have helped CME transition from a membership-owned organization into a for-profit, public company that has expanded into every major asset class with the acquisitions of the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange and has also extended its reach globally. We thank Craig and wish him well as he moves on to new challenges."

"Going forward, technology, clearing and operational excellence will continue to be an important facet of how we deliver value to our customers and drive growth for shareholders – all of the areas in which Gill is extremely experienced, making him the right person to serve as our future CEO," said Duffy. "The board of directors and I believe that Gill's decades of experience in all aspects of our business, coupled with his extensive experience in Asia, position him to lead us forward with the successful execution of our global growth strategy."

"I am honored that the Board has placed its confidence in me to step into the role of chief executive officer," said Gill.  "I am thankful for the guidance provided to me by Craig over these past eight years. As a company we are well positioned for the future, and I look forward to working more closely with Terry, the Management Team and the rest of the organization to further expand the influence of our markets and exploit new growth opportunities globally and in the OTC arena. I also look forward to being able to help guide the development of our already strong employee base who will ensure CME Group continues to meet the challenges ahead."