NEW YORK — Citigroup Inc. (C) has snatched Freddie Mac executive Anthony Renzi to become the chief operating officer of its North American mortgage business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Renzi, who has spent two years at Freddie, joins a growing list of industry veterans who have departed over the past year. The chief executives of both Fannie and Freddie have said they plan to leave this year. In the past two years, dozens of senior managers, many with long tenures, have left.

He is executive vice president of Freddie's single-family mortgage-guarantee business, including the mortgage company's servicing operations. He reports directly to Chief Executive Ed Haldeman. Prior to joining Freddie, Renzi served as COO of GMAC Residential Capital and president of GMAC Mortgage.

Renzi is replacing Harold Lewis, who earlier this year became president and COO of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc.

Citi is one of the nation's largest mortgage servicers, and has been struggling with soured mortgages left on its books after the financial crisis made it impossible for the bank to sell them.

But the bank has been shedding mortgages, and started to restructure and rebuilt its own mortgage underwriting in the U.S. through its Citibank branch staff.

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