With headlines about his relationship with CNBC news anchor Maria Bartiromo and warnings from Citigroup Chairman and CEO Charles Prince about spending, Todd Thomson decided to leave the company "to pursue other interests." He is being replaced as the chairman and CEO of Citigroup's global wealth management division by Sallie Krawcheck, Citigroup's CFO, once her position is filled. Robert Druskin, COO of Citigroup, will oversee the division -- including Smith Barney, Citigroup Private Bank and Citigroup Investment Research -- on an interim basis.
"Sallie has done a terrific job as our chief financial officer over the past two years, putting a capital allocation process in place, enhancing balance-sheet management, and helping me redirect the company's strategy," says Prince. "She distinguished herself as an operating manager at Smith Barney, leading that business forward at a critical time in our company's history by accelerating its transition to a full wealth management model and reestablishing excellence in our research operation, while maintaining industry-leading margins."
"I'm looking forward to returning to an operating role at Citigroup," Krawcheck shares. "Great opportunities exist for our global wealth management business ... "
What impact could her latest appointment have on morale at Smith Barney, which is putting in a new compensation plan for advisors in 2007? "People liked her before," says Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants in White Plains, N.Y. "And she is well regarded in the field. It should be seen as a positive change on the heels of a sexy scandal."
Krawcheck, 42, joined Citigroup in October 2002 as chairman and CEO of Smith Barney, a post she held for two years. During that time, she restructured Smith Barney's equity research business. As Citigroup's CFO and head of strategy since 2004, Krawcheck has been responsible for functions including financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning for Citigroup. Before joining Citigroup, she led Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, where she earlier had served as a senior equity research analyst covering securities brokerages and life insurers. Previously, she worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Salomon Brothers.
Janet Levaux is the managing editor of Research; reach her at email@example.com.