DaimlerChrysler chief executive Jürgen Schrempp has resigned from the board of the New York Stock Exchange, the second director to quit in the wake of fierce public criticism of the $US140 million pay package the board approved for its former chairman, Richard Grasso, The New York Times (NYT) reported in its online edition on Monday.

DaimlerChrysler spokesman Han Tjan told the NYT on Sunday that Schrempp, who had raised cautionary questions about Grasso’s compensation at a committee meeting in August, wanted “to make way for a restructuring of the board.” Tjan also said that Schrempp also found himself unable to devote the time needed to help guide the exchange through its current crisis, the newspaper added.

The New York Times said Schrempp’s resignation, which the exchange received on Saturday, came two days after the departure of H. Carl McCall, the former New York State comptroller. McCall, who the paper said, was an advocate for strong corporate governance in his tenure at the helm of New York State’s public pension funds, had initially tried to defend the board’s compensation arrangements for Grasso.

The NYT noted that Grasso, widely praised for leading the exchange through the trauma of the September 2001 attacks on the nearby World Trade Centre, ultimately yielded to the rising public controversy and resigned on September 17, ending a 36-year career at the ‘Big Board’.

The New York Times said that McCall and Schrempp were among the 12 public members of a board that also included a dozen directors representing the Wall Street industry and three members of the exchange’s management.