AIG Chief Liddy To Step Down

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May 21, 2009 12:41 p.m.

AIG CEO Ed Liddy, who was brought in by the government to try to stabilize the firm amid the financial crisis last fall, is going to step down.

It’s unclear exactly why, and for how long the departure had been planned. Here’s the key part of AIG’s press release:

Mr. Liddy has recommended to the Board that the Chairman and CEO roles be separated. Earlier this week, the company announced the nomination of six new directors to stand for election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on June 30, 2009. This slate will reconfigure the Board so that a majority of its members will be newly elected independent directors.

Working with the Board, Mr. Liddy has determined that, coincident with the reconfiguration of the Board, the company should also initiate the necessary actions to install a more permanent leadership team and structure. The Board concurs with Mr. Liddy’s recommendation that the roles of Chairman and CEO be separated and intends to conduct a search to fill each position. The search will include participation by both the reconstituted Board and the Trustees of the AIG Credit Facility Trust.

“Much work remains to be done at AIG, but much has already been accomplished,” Mr. Liddy said. “With the financial assistance of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, we have made substantial progress in stabilizing AIG, reducing the systemic risk that led the government to rescue the company, protecting our policyholders and our businesses, and developing a plan to repay American taxpayers.

“I am proud that we are now implementing this repayment plan. As we have noted repeatedly, our pace of success will depend on global economic conditions and financial markets. It is likely to take several years. AIG should have a leadership team committed to a similar time horizon and prepared to carry the plan to completion,” Mr. Liddy concluded.

Liddy had received some blame for not stopping AIG’s bonus payments, and had appeared twice before Congress to anwer questions about the firm’s collapse.

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