Citigroup Chief Executive Michael Corbat is reorganizing the bank's top ranks for the first time since taking over in October, promoting several longtime senior executives and splitting up the bank's operations and technology unit.
The biggest winners in Corbat's shuffle are Jamie Forese and Manuel Medina-Mora, who will become co-presidents of Citigroup and report directly to Corbat. Both men were once considered in the running to eventually succeed former CEO Vikram Pandit, who was abruptly replaced with Corbat in October. Forese will oversee all of Citigroup's institutional banking operations, while Medina-Mora will continue to run all of the global consumer banking operations and its Mexican unit.
The biggest departure is Lewis Kaden, a vice chairman and behind-the-scenes power at Citigroup who was a close aide to Pandit. Kaden, the bank's former chief administrative officer, "plans to retire in the coming weeks. … We will miss his wise counsel," Corbat said in a memo Monday.
Corbat also said in the memo that the bank on Monday would submit a capital plan to the Federal Reserve for approval. The Fed last year rejected Citigroup's request to return capital to shareholders, dealing Pandit a blow before his investors and his board that eventually culminated in his departure.
Since taking over, Corbat has announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs. Approximately 6,000 of those cuts will take place in Citigroup's operations and technology unit, which Corbat said Monday would be split into divisions reporting directly to Forese and Medina-Mora.
Don Callahan, the head of the current unit and another former Pandit aide, will oversee enterprise operations and "be responsible for all shared infrastructure and for ensuring our systems are regulatory-compliant," Corbat wrote.
Corbat's memo warned employees that "we will be tested in the year ahead. The environment remains very challenging from a variety of perspectives."
He appears to have succeeded in one of his biggest immediate challenges: taking over the bank without losing most of its top talent. The abrupt nature of Pandit's departure, hours after the bank reported third-quarter earnings, unsettled many, but Corbat's 29-year tenure at Citigroup appears to have helped him retain even some longtime Pandit allies.
Brian Leach, the bank's risk officer and another executive close to Pandit, has apparently been persuaded to stay; Corbat promoted him to "head of franchise risk and strategy," giving him responsibility for the bank's audit and compliance unit. Leach will also manage the new chief risk officer, Brad Hu, who has been running risk for Citigroup's Asia-Pacific business.
Longtime executive Jim Cowles will fill Corbat's former role as head of Citigroup's Europe, Middle East and Africa business. North America CEO Bill Mills will take on additional responsibility for community development and international franchise management. John Gerspach will remain the chief financial officer and will run Corbat's budgeting plan and other projects.
Staying in their current roles are Latin America CEO Francisco Aristeguieta, Asia-Pacific CEO Stephen Bird, human resources head Paul McKinnon and general counsel Rohan Weerasinghe. Gene McQuade will remain Citibank CEO while overseeing Citi's Japan business and the Holdings unit for unwanted assets.
Corbat's new chief of staff is Sara Wechter; she previously held the same role for Citigroup Chairman Mike O’Neill, who presided over the CEO switch. Ed Skyler, the former deputy mayor of New York City whom Pandit hired in 2010 to run the bank's public affairs office, is adding Citigroup's charitable foundation to his domain; current Citi Foundation CEO Pam Flaherty will report to him.