Management Turnover as Change Agent

Monday, January 12, 2009

Citi's Executive Management Shaky?

The weekend and early today saw a spate of articles speculating that Citigroup is under pressure from regulators to replace its chairman, Winfred Bischoff.  Speculation has arisen that Richard Parsons former CEO and chairman of Time Warner and a current Citigroup board member might replace Bischoff should he leave.  According to a story by Eric Dash in today’s International Herald Tribune,

U.S. government banking regulators are pressing Citigroup to shake up its board and replace its chairman, Winfried Bischoff, in an effort to restore confidence in the beleaguered financial giant. 

Richard Parsons, chairman of Time Warner and a Citigroup director, has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Bischoff as Citigroup’s chairman, people briefed on the situation said Sunday night. While the timing was uncertain, the change could come as early as this week. 

A shift in the Chairman would only mean greater pressure on Citi’s current and struggling CEO, Vikram Pandit.  With the possible spinoff of Citi’s Smith Barney division into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley, which came to the fore this past week, and the continuing pressure on Citi for a breakup of other divisions — can Pandit survive? 

Questions will continue to be asked as to whether Pandit is the right person to handle these types of changes and if not, who might the bank turn to handle the job?   This all comes after former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin resigned his board seat at the bank.  Rubin has always been considered an ally of Pandit’s.  In the midst of the continuing crisis at Citi according to Time Magazine which relies on a Wall Street Journal piece,

Citi’s board has given Pandit a vote of confidence. 

Is it deja vu or does the board really support Pandit or is it just continuing to fail in its responsibilities?  I anticipate more key management changes at the bank over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned.  

For more:   


 Fox Business News Gapplerblog  

Financial Times (update 1/15)

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