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Citi CEO and President Out

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Mortgage Daily

                                                 October 16, 2012

The executive who was appointed to lead Citigroup Inc. just as the financial crisis was getting underway is leaving the global giant — prompting the president to also resign. Taking the top spot is an executive who oversaw the company’s toxic assets.

Vikram Pandit replaced Charles Prince as chief executive officer of the New York-based firm in 2007 at a time Citi’s financial position was precarious.

Before joining Citi, Pandit spent more than two decades with Morgan Stanley.

But Pandit’s time with Citi has come to an close.

In a statement Tuesday, the company said Pandit has decided to immediately step down.

“Citigroup is well-positioned for continued profitability and growth, having refocused the franchise on the basics of banking,” Pandit said in the announcement. “Given the progress we have made in the last few years, I have concluded that now is the right time for someone else to take the helm at Citigroup.”

No other details were provided about the reason for his departure — which came just a day after Citi disclosed that earnings swung to a $1 billion third-quarter loss from a $5 billion profit one year earlier.

Stepping in to fill Pandit’s shoes is Michael Corbat, a 29-year employee.

In addition to his new role as CEO, the Harvard University alumnus has also been elected to Citi’s board of directors.

Corbat’s tenure at Citi included a stint as CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In 2009, Corbat was named interim CEO of Citi Holdings — a unit created to manage risky assets accumulated during the run-up to the global financial crisis.

“He has managed numerous institutional businesses, including sales and trading, capital markets, corporate and commercial banking and such consumer businesses as wealth management, mortgages and credit cards,” Citi Chairman Michael E. O’Neil said of Corbat in the announcement. “During the financial crisis, he successfully led the divestiture of more than 40 businesses, helping to strengthen the company’s balance sheet substantially. In this role, he also restructured and rebuilt a number of the company’s consumer-facing businesses, including the mortgage and credit card businesses.”

photo of Michael Corbat
Citi photo of Michael Corbat

Also leaving Citi is president and chief operating officer John P. Havens. The statement indicated that Havens was already planning to retire this year but moved up his departure date because of Pandit’s exit.

Havens was named president in January 2011.

No replacement was named for Havens.

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