July 24 (Reuters) - Jeff Smith, head of the human resources group at BlackRock Inc, is leaving after more than a decade at the firm because "he failed to adhere to company policy," BlackRock said in a memo on Wednesday.
"We expect every employee of BlackRock, especially our most senior leaders, to uphold the highest standards of conduct," the memo said, which was signed by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and BlackRock president Rob Kapito.
BlackRock Vice Chairman Rob Fairbairn will become interim head of the human resources group, "while we conduct a search for a permanent head of HR."
Fairbairn, who has been "a champion of talent development" at BlackRock at every stage of his 25-year career, has led some of the firm’s largest businesses – including the firm's then-combined retail and iShares business, the firm's global client business, and its international business. (Reporting By Jennifer Ablan Editing by Nick Zieminski)