As auditors for Wirecard AG last month prepared an announcement that they couldn’t confirm the existence of more than $2 billion in cash, colleagues began calling around to locate the company’s 40-year-old chief operating officer, Jan Marsalek, according to people who received inquiries about his whereabouts.

Markus Braun, the chief executive, worked around the clock with the electronic-payments giant’s top executives to chart a response, fast tracking the start date of a new chief compliance officer to reassure investors….

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