Citigroup Inc. chairman and co-chief
executive John Reed will retire in April, the No. 1 U.S.
financial services group said Monday, leaving Wall Street
deal-maker Sanford "Sandy" Weill as the sole CEO.
|John S. Reed of Citicorp speaks during a news conference as Sanford Weill, chairman and CEO of Travelers Group Inc., looks on|
Reed's retirement could mean a more hands-on role for former
U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who was tapped to join
Citigroup last year in a three-person chairman office, analysts
The move ends the power-sharing agreement Reed struck with
Weill in the $70-billion merger between Citicorp and Travelers
Group in 1998. Reed, 61, had led the international bank while
Weill, who turns 67 in March, was head of insurance and
securities firm Travelers.
The announcement also marks the latest management reshuffle
at the top of Citigroup, coming less than a week after the
resignation of Chief Financial Officer Heidi Miller.
Weill will be chairman and CEO but plans to work with a
committee to find a successor within two years in light of his
plans for his own retirement, Citigroup said in a statement.
Citigroup's stock jumped 2 to 50-1/16 on the news. Wall
Street firm Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the stock.
"I have looked at Rubin as being a very definitive addition
to the senior management team of this company since his
appointment," Diane Glossman, an analyst at Lehman Brothers
said. "The aspects of the company and its future that most
interested Reed were different than those that captured the
imagination of Sandy and Rubin."
Reed, who will formally retire at the April 18 shareholders
meeting, has been a vocal proponent of the role of technology in
the financial services industry. Weill is known more as a
consummate deal maker, while Rubin has international clout and
strong political skills.
After growing up in Argentina and Brazil, Reed joined
Citibank in 1965 when it was called First National City Bank, as
a planner in the overseas division. His early jobs included
helping design the bank's internal management financial
information system and looking at how interactive systems could
be used in banking.
"My decision was a deliberate one that I have discussed
fully with the board," Reed said in a statement. "From the
moment we announced the merger, I committed myself to seeing
through our transition from two companies into one. With the
progress we have made - highlighted by the strong financial
performance we achieved in our first full year as a combined
company - I feel that I can now move on."
In October, Reed and Weill formed a triumvirate at the
financial powerhouse by hiring Rubin as chairman of the board's
On Feb. 23, Citigroup said Chief Financial Officer Miller is
quitting to become chief financial officer of Priceline.com Inc.
, an Internet company that lets people bid for everything from
airline tickets to groceries.