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Citi Changes Chairman

Richard Parsons replacing Sir Win Bischoff

January 22, 2009

By staff

After just one year on the job, Sir Win Bischoff is done as chairman of Citigroup Inc. Replacing him is someone experienced at leading a company amid devastation.

Former Time Warner chairman Richard D. Parsons has been named chairman of the board at the struggling institution, an announcement today said. Parsons takes the helm from Bischoff on Feb. 23.

Bischoff, 66, was named chairman of the board in December 2007, replacing Charles Prince -- who was ousted in November 2007 after the New York-based company reported a massive $11 billion charge on its subprime investments.

Since then, Citi has reported another $19 billion in losses. In addition, it has received tens of billions of dollars in emergency government financing, obtained billions of dollars in sovereign wealth fund investments and announced more than 50,000 layoffs.

Last week, Citi said it would split into Citicorp and Citi Holdings in a move that could potentially result in a spinoff of its least healthy operations.

"He agreed to take on senior leadership roles at Citi more than a year ago during a critical time for the company," Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said of Bischoff in the announcement.

Pandit also succeeded Prince in December 2007 when he became CEO.

Bischoff himself noted that the stint was for a limited but flexible period. He will also resign as a Citigroup director when his current term ends.

"He helped guide Citi during its period of stellar growth and later was drafted to lead the company at a tumultuous time," Parsons said of Bischoff.

Parsons, 60, was named chairman and CEO of AOL Time Warner in late 2001 -- just after the Internet stock bubble burst -- and left at the end of 2007. His ability to profitably steer the media giant clear of the graveyard where so many Internet startups ended could prove valuable for Citi.

Parsons was also chairman and CEO of Dime Bancorp Inc. -- which was acquired by Washington Mutual Inc. in January 2002 during an acquisition binge early in the decade. Dime was the parent of North American Mortgage Co.

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