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Citi: 'Nobody' Called Pandit After Gawker Posted His Number

Vikram Pandit must not be checking his cellphone voicemail.

Gawker.com published the mobile number of Citigroup Inc.'s chief executive on Friday, after Pandit publicly offered to talk to the Occupy Wall Street protestors demonstrating against big banks like his.

"I'd be happy to talk to them anytime they want," Pandit told Fortune on Wednesday.

But rather astonishingly, none of the protestors have reached out to Pandit, Citigroup officials said Monday.

"To my knowledge nobody has taken him up on that offer," Ed Skyler, Citigroup's head of public affairs, told reporters during a conference call on Monday to discuss the bank's third-quarter earnings.

Pandit was not on the call with reporters, and was not asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests during a later conference call with analysts on Monday.

His silence contrasted with the response of JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, who on Thursday told reporters that he was not offended by the protestors' decision to march past his home last week.

"It's legal to demonstrate," Dimon said, adding, "You should try and listen and not have a knee-jerk reaction" when people demonstrate.

That conciliatory tone was also echoed by Wells Fargo & Co. CEO John Stumpf on Monday — who has the advantage of running a San Francisco bank far from Wall Street and some of its associations.

"I understand some of the angst and the anger. This downturn has been too long, unemployment is too high and people are hurting. We get that," he told analysts during a conference call to discuss Wells Fargo earnings on Monday.

But Pandit — and Citigroup — might be feeling particularly singled out by the protestors after the past week. Protestors marched to a Citigroup branch in New York on Saturday, and 24 people were arrested after the bank's employees called the police.

After Pandit called the protestors' concerns "completely understandable" last week and made his offer to talk, Gawker tried to facilitate a dialogue through some rather provocative tactics. The website posted Pandit's cell and office phone numbers as well as his Citigroup email address on Friday afternoon.

When American Banker tried that number on Friday, Pandit's voicemail was already full — which leads us to wonder if Occupy Wall Street was too busy protesting to read Gawker, if all of the reporters dialed up Pandit first or if the number was wrong.




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