One of the most powerful people on Wall Street has just resigned. Vikram Pandit is stepping down as CEO of Citigroup — effective immediately. He’ll be replaced by Michael Corbat, who runs some of the bank’s overseas divisions, and has been with the company since 1983.
“It is shocking to everybody,” says Nancy Bush, a banking analyst and contributing editor at SNL Financial. Bush says the timing of announcement is particularly ironic as Citigroup reported positive third-quarter just yesterday.
Read the official statement from Citigroup announcing the resignations of CEO Vikram Pandit and John P. Havens, Citigroup’s President and COO. Read the full statement
Pandit led Citigroup through the 2008 financial crisis and is known as a survivor on Wall Street. Though, Bush believes the economic storm of the past four years may have tired the Citigroup CEO. The recent release of former FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair‘s book, “Bull by the Horns” — which was very critical of Pandit and Wall Street — may have also contributed to his resignation.
“Perhaps he and his board decided it was time to take him out of the bull’s eye of the target,” Bush said.
Despite past missteps, such as losing the battle with Wells Fargo to buy struggling bank Wachovia, Bush and other financial analysts think history will give him the benefit of the doubt. “He weathered the storm, repaid TARP, he got through the crisis,” says Bush.