Management Turnover as Change Agent

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Citi May Be Considering Replacing Chairman

According to the Wall Street Journal (sub req.) , who quoted unnamed sources, members of Citi’s C (NYSE) board are considering changing its chairman, Sir Win Bischoff.  According to the story,

The board wants closer oversight of the efforts of chief executive Vikram Pandit and his team…

 The Journal’s unnamed sources also speculated that Richard Parsons, chairman of Time Warner and a member of Citi’s board, is being considered as Bischoff’s replacement.  It would seem the bank could come up with a more judicious and appropriate candidate.  According to Felix Salmon on SeekingAlpha,

The one option being mulled right now — replacing Win Bischoff with Dick Parsons — is clearly taken straight from the deckchairs-on-the-Titanic playbook. Parsons, remember, is the man about whom Joe Nocera said that “all his professional life, he’s wanted to be seen as someone who never seems to break a sweat”. In any case, Bischoff isn’t the problem. The problem is that Vikram Pandit gave himself altogether too much time to get smaller, and then decided his best chance at salvation was to get bigger — by buying Wachovia. Now, it’s too late: the die has been cast. Will Citi buy Chevy Chase Bank? It really doesn’t make any difference either way.

While I do not find myself in complete agreement with Salmon’s overall sentiments, I do not find Parsons the right person for the challenge.  His allegiance to Pandit might actually serve as a hindrance to helping Pandit.  If the board replaces Sir Win they need to find someone who intends to go toe-to-toe with Pandit and his team. 

For more:  

The (11/14 update)


Biz Journal   


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