In the past month or so, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Liz Knight has told readers that CEO David Murray would be retiring, and in today’s paper she reports: “David Murray will announce his retirement from the Commonwealth Bank in the middle of next week following a near record 14 years at the top of Australia’s largest bank.”

So why is this a more important story than the new CEO at Telstra? Well, Murray is the only CEO the CBA and its shareholders have known since it started down the privatisation route 14 years ago.

We will know sometime in the next week or so if the bank has a succession plan in place. The betting is that with the strong-minded Murray, there hasn’t been much planning. If the bank has to go outside (even to old CBAers in Gail Kelly at St George or John Mulcahy at Suncorp), it will be an admission of an enormous failure.

I reckon Stuart Grimshaw, the head of Investments, is a good each way punt but Gail Kelly at St George is leader, even though she seems to be having fun at the Happy Dragon.