The chief executive officer of American International Group Inc. says AIG employees should ignore speculation about the possibility that he might quit.
Robert Benmosche, the CEO of AIG, New York, (NYSE:AIG) has written a letter to AIG employees in response to an article that appeared today in the Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal is reported that Benmosche told the AIG board last week that he was quitting, then agreed to reconsider at the board’s urging.
The article suggests that Benmosche was upset by government restrictions on AIG executive compensation.
The government now owns a 79.9% stake in AIG.
Kenneth Feinberg, the special master for Troubled Asset Relief Program executive compensation, last month slashed payments to AIG’s top 25 employees by 91% for the remainder of the year.
There may be employee concerns about “news accounts speculating about my frustration with the time and effort it is taking to ensure that our top 100 executives are compensated fairly,” Benmosche writes in the letter to AIG employees.
“To be certain, I and the board are indeed frustrated and we are in ongoing discussions with Treasury and the Special Master to resolve the uncertainty surrounding this issue,” Benmosche writes. “However, as I have said before, the vast majority of AIG employees are unaffected by this issue.”
Benmosche writes that he and the AIG board “remain totally committed to leading AIG through its challenges and to continuing to fight on your behalf.”
“We are all working aggressively to overcome this compensation barrier that stands in the way of restoring AIG’s value and allowing us to live up to our obligations to all stakeholders: our customers, who have remained loyal; our nearly 100,000 employees, including 46,000 here in the U.S.; our shareholders and creditors,” Benmosche writes.
AIG employees are “doing a great job under difficult circumstances,” Benmosche writes. “You have suffered terrible losses–many of you have seen life savings vanish. But you have persevered and we’re now seeing progress. Our results for the last two quarters have demonstrated greater stability and our businesses are recovering.”
AIG reported $455 million in net income attributable to AIG for the third quarter of 2009, compared with a $25 billion net loss for the third quarter of 2008. AIG reported $1.8 billion in net income attributable to AIG for the second quarter of 2009.
Benmosche has asked AIG employees “not to be distracted by speculative media stories and to maintain your focus on the important work you are doing.”
“People–you–make AIG strong and successful,” Benmosche writes. “I am impressed every day at all that you are accomplishing and I thank you all. I’m proud to have this opportunity to work with you to restore our company.”