Jeffrey W. Greenberg has resigned as chief executive officer of scandal-hit Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., New York.[@@]

The company’s board of directors stated that Greenberg would be replaced by Michael G. Cherkasky, a former prosecutor who had been CEO of M&M’s risk consulting subsidiary, Marsh Kroll. Cherkasky will also assume the duties of president of the company.

Greenberg’s resignation came just 12 days after M&M was hit with a civil suit by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Among other allegations, Spitzer charged that incentive fees paid to Marsh Inc. by big name insurers were payoffs rewarding Marsh for steering the broker’s unwitting commercial insurance clients to cooperating carriers.

Spitzer issued a statement saying Greenberg’s departure could lead to a settlement of the lawsuit. He also said he now would not bring criminal charges against M&M.