Vikram Pandit, the former investment banker who led Citigroup through its $45 billion federal bailout and subsequent recovery, has stepped down as CEO and has relinquished his board position, Citigroup’s Board of Directors announced Tuesday in a release. President/COO John P. Havens, who was planning a year-end retirement, will also leave the bank. Both resignations are effective immediately.
Michael Corbat, who previously served as Citigroup’s CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa, was named the new CEO and a board director.
Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair wrote in her book, “Bull by the Horns”, that she had attempted to remove Pandit from the post in 2009, because he lacked commercial banking experience and had a close working relationship with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that troubled her.
Despite a nearly 40% gain in Citigroup’s stock prices so far in 2012, Pandit had fallen out of favor, as evidenced when regulators denied his plan to increase payouts to investors and shareholders voted down his proposed compensation plan.
“We respect Vikram’s decision,” said Board Chairman Michael E. O’Neill. “Since his appointment at the start of the financial crisis until the present time, Vikram has restructured and recapitalized the Company, strengthened our global franchise and re-focused the business. The Board and I are grateful to Vikram for his leadership, integrity and resilience in guiding Citi through the crisis and positioning it well for the future. We wish him all the best with the next stage in his career.”
Citigroup is one of 10 investment banks sued by the NCUA over securities sold to corporate credit unions. The New York-based bank settled with the NCUA.