Citigroup could replace Pandit as CEO: NYT

November 22nd, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 22 (IANS) Vikram Pandit, the Indian-American CEO of Citigroup, could well be on his way out as the banking giant is looking at various options, including his sacking, to infuse confidence among its investors and tide over the worst-ever crisis it is facing, a media report here said Saturday.Citigroup stock has plumbed more than 60 percent in a week, now trading below $4, which is 90 percent below its all time high. Top executives of the Citigroup Friday held a series of frantic meeting and talks with the federal government, discussing the possibilities of overcoming this crisis.

Among possible options being weighed by the Citigroup executives included whether to replace Pandit, 55, or sell part of the company, the New York Times reported.

No other mainstream US media outlet, however, reported that Pandit, who was hired by the company last year to enthuse confidence among the investors, could be fired.

Pandit himself held a series of meetings Friday, which went into Saturday, as the company further plunged into a deeper crisis.

The Wall Street Journal said Pandit told his employees on a conference call that he had “no desire” to sell the Smith Barney brokerage unit or other parts of the financial company.

He lashed out at “fear mongering” by investors, which he complained was partly fuelled by competitors, the Journal reported.

Meanwhile, media reports Saturday said the US government could step in to rescue the Citigroup.

The company top executives and board members Friday held a series of telephonic conversations with federal authorities including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and New York Federal reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner, who is being widely speculated to be the next treasury secretary.

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