Feb 26, 2021 - World

CEO of Canada's largest pension fund resigns after traveling to UAE for vaccine

Mark Machin

Photo: Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has resigned after the Wall Street Journal revealed that he traveled to the United Arab Emirates to obtain the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Mark Machin, who managed $375 billion in assets as head of Canada's largest pension fund, reportedly used his connections to jump over millions of Canadians waiting in line for a vaccine.

What they're saying:

Leadership is ... fundamental to meeting our objectives on behalf of Canadians and we take that responsibility of leadership very seriously. Recently, our CEO Mark Machin decided to travel personally to the United Arab Emirates where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19. After discussions last evening with the Board, Mr. Machin tendered his resignation and it has been accepted. 
— Statement from board of CPP Investments

The big picture: The episode reflects a broader trend of wealthy people exploiting their connections to jump the vaccine queue, contributing to larger disparities seen in early vaccine distribution.

Go deeper: Wealthy Californians reportedly exploit COVID vaccine program

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that CPP manages $375 billion in assets, not $375 million.

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