Societe Generale SA Chairman Daniel Bouton, whose leadership came into question after a record trading loss last year, announced Wednesday that he will resign from the company.

The board of Societe Generale, France's third-largest bank, will elect a new chairman at a meeting on May 6, Bouton said by e-mail. Bouton, 59, stepped down as chief executive officer a year ago, maintaining the chairman role he had held since 1997.

"The repeated attacks against me personally in France for the past 15 months affect me, but most of all, they risk harming the bank and its 163,000 employees," he said.

Bouton came under fire after a $6.5 billion trading loss in January of last year, which he blamed on unauthorized trades by former trader Jerome Kerviel.

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