Bank One Corp. chief executive James Dimon has taken steps toward fulfilling expectations that he would attract high-level talent - most likely from Citigroup Inc. and its subsidiaries - to the brain-drained company.
The new CEO announced Monday that he has appointed a former Salomon Smith Barney colleague to a key strategic position and has retained another ex-Citigroup executive in an advisory role.
Michael Cavanagh, most recently chief administrative officer for Salomon's European unit, is now senior vice president of strategy and planning for Chicago-based Bank One, reporting directly to Mr. Dimon.
In the newly created position, Mr. Cavanagh will help Mr. Dimon fix Bank One's recurring problems, particularly its First USA Inc. credit card unit, which has caused earnings to nosedive in the last few quarters.
William Campbell, formerly co-head of Citigroup's global consumer banking, has joined as senior advisor, working part-time on Internet projects, including Wingspan Bank.
It was crucial for Mr. Dimon to take action on the hiring front. His reputation for being a charismatic leader while at Salomon was cited both in the speculation leading up to his appointment and after he was named.
Mr. Dimon himself seemed to acknowledge the expectation when, following his hiring, he told a reporter that he had received "a hundred calls from friends over there" - referring to congratulatory messages from former Citigroup colleagues.
A Travelers Group veteran, Mr. Cavanagh also brings experience in consumer banking - an area some critics have said is not one of Mr. Dimon's strengths.
Before taking on the chief administrative role after Citigroup announced the acquisition of Schroders PLC this year, Mr. Cavanagh was chief financial officer for Citibank consumer banking in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
At the start of his career with Travelers Group, which later merged with Citicorp to form Citigroup, Mr. Cavanagh was a director of financial planning and analysis at Primerica Corp., a Travelers unit that provided financial planning services for consumers. Mr. Dimon was president of Primerica from 1991 to 1994.
But Mr. Cavanagh's resume most strongly suggests that he was brought on for his analytical expertise, as well as his familiarity with Mr. Dimon.
Mr. Cavanagh was co-head or director of planning and analysis at Salomon Smith Barney from 1996 to 1999 and was vice president of planning and analysis at Smith Barney Shearson from 1994 to 1995.
In between those two posts he spent a year as assistant to Mr. Dimon, who was CEO of Smith Barney at the time.
In a memo to Bank One employees on Monday, Mr. Dimon said Mr. Cavanagh is "not only a bright guy and a terrific manager, but has the character and integrity that are central to our core values."
Mr. Dimon has told analysts that he plans to change the way Bank One manages its capital and expenses and to review every business line.
But a Bank One spokesman said he does not know whether Mr. Cavanagh will focus more strategy or financial management. Mr. Dimon and Mr. Cavanagh, who left his Salomon job on Friday, could not be reached Monday.
Mr. Cavanagh had been based in London, headquarters to Salomon Smith Barney Europe, since August.
Monday's announcement came as no surprise to Lawrence Cohn, an analyst at Ryan Beck & Co.
"It's natural that a lot would come from Citigroup - those are the people he knows and trusts," Mr. Cohn said.
Mr. Dimon still has key senior-level positions to fill, including chief financial officer; Robert A. Rosholt resigned from that post effective Monday. "It's an extremely important position, and you don't expect it to be filled at the drop of a hat," Mr. Cohn said.
The company has also been looking for a new general counsel since the death of Sherman Goldberg in March.
The 12-person management committee and Bank One president Verne G. Istock now report to Mr. Dimon.
Bank One's stock has fallen somewhat after gaining 24% the week after Mr. Dimon's appointment. On Monday it rose 50 cents to close at $31.