In what is being called a “shocking” and “abrupt” move, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, the man who was in charge of the megabank during the financial crisis, resigned his post with virtually zero notice or explanation on Tuesday.
We covered the early fallout over Pandit’s departure earlier this morning, including some speculation over why the bank boss may have vacated his post. Pandit’s statement regarding his departure from Citigroup was released minutes after the initial announcement, concurrent with his name’s removal from the bank’s website. It said:
“Thanks to the dedication and sacrifice of people across Citigroup, we have emerged from the financial crisis as a strong institution. Citigroup is well-positioned for continued profitability and growth, having refocused the franchise on the basics of banking. Given the progress we have made in the last few years, I have concluded that now is the right time for someone else to take the helm at Citigroup,” continuing, “I could not be leaving the Company in better hands. Mike is the right person to tackle the difficult challenges ahead, with a 29-year record of achievement and leadership at this Company. I will truly miss the wonderful people throughout this organization. But I know that together with Mike they will continue to build on the progress we have made.”
Pandit has already granted his first post-resignation interview, and explained his side of the story regarding his sudden departure from Citigroup. Answering speculation as to whether or not he was elbowed out, Pandit told BBG TV:
“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It was my decision. I made it talking to Mr. O’Neill, and we did it understanding that the company was ready.”
Could Pandit have handled his Citigroup resignation differently? He explained:
“It’s hard to come up with things we should have done differently. I was first out of the box to raise capital. I feel very good about the decisions that we’ve made. The job was about transformation and turnaround, and we’ve done the turnaround. There are always bumps in the road. But the real issue to me is look at the five-year track record. It was never going to be a straight line.”
You can watch Pandit’s interview with Bloomberg regarding his sudden resignation as Citigroup CEO at Business Insider.