finance.yahoo.com /By Jeff Macke | Breakout – 3 hours ago
In a stunning move Citigroup (C) announced this morning that CEO Vikram Pandit and COO John Havens were resigning effective immediately. The departures come just one day after the big bank reported what was generally regarded as a strong quarter, sending the stock higher by 5% in Monday trading. Pandit also stepped down from Citi’s Board of Directors.
This departure marks the end of a controversial and often troubled tenure. Pandit first came on the scene at Citigroup in July of 2007 when his hedge fund, Old Lane Partners LP, was bought for $800 million. Pandit reportedly pocketed $165 million for his portion of the company. Named CEO in December of 2007, Pandit steered Citi through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The company’s stock has fallen some 90% since he took the corner office, underperforming most of the industry.
The circumstances surrounding the abrupt exit are murky, at best. Pandit was far from beloved in the industry or by investors, but he was hardly seen as someone who’s job was on the line. In his mid-50s, Pandit isn’t considered a dinosaur and if this was a planned departure it was an utterly inept succession execution by the Board of Directors. If Pandit’s performance was the issue it would have been exposed in the quarterly report yesterday. (See related: Citigroup Touts Core Business Momentum in Otherwise Baffling Quarter)
Thanks to BrotherJohnF