Robert E. Rubin to its top management rung Tuesday, and with him sent a message about the company's internal stability and global intentions.

Mr. Rubin, 60, was named a director and member of an expanded office of the chairman, joining co-chairmen and chief executive officers John S. Reed and Sanford I. Weill. The three men also share the role of chairman of the executive committee.

Mr. Rubin has not been assigned oversight of individual business lines, and instead will focus on strategic and policy issues.

The largest bank holding company -- an embodiment of the diversified financial enterprise that would be sanctioned by the financial modernization bill that Mr. Rubin and the White House pushed for -- hailed the appointment as a major coup.

Mr. Weill, 66, and Mr. Reed, 60, did not address the management-succession questions that have arisen since they put the merger of Travelers Group and Citicorp together last year. Mr. Rubin said at a press conference that he had no intentions of becoming CEO. He called his role "an extraordinarily good fit" with his desire to operate in the global financial arena.

Mr. Weill said: "John and I are enjoying what we are doing. At an appropriate time there will be a successor. It's not something on the horizon."

"We're working on Y3K," added Mr. Reed, who is known for his futuristic leanings. "An old friend from Wall Street has decided to join us and become part of the team."

Some outsiders characterized Mr. Rubin's role as that of a potential buffer between the co-CEOs, who have acknowledged having to get over some rough spots in their relationship. Mr. Rubin could perhaps provide a tie-breaking vote.

Mr. Weill said Mr. Rubin would be part of the "information loop," helping to formulate strategies and having a hand in molding the corporate culture.

"Three legs are more stable than two," Mr. Weill said. "If anything, (the third voice) would help our thought process be more crisp."

Mr. Rubin left the Treasury Department in May, and how he might return to Wall Street has been the subject of intense speculation since. He said he had discussions with a number of companies. He praised his new colleagues for having "extraordinary vision as to where this institution is to go."

Mr. Rubin's move was applauded by outsiders.

Frank N. Newman, the former Treasury official who went on to become chairman of Bankers Trust Corp., said, "Making wise judgments with a real understanding of how financial systems work around the world makes a big difference, and Bob brings all of that.

He certainly knows how to deal with sometimes very fast moving crises around the world."

James Dimon, the one-time Weill prot g who was president of Citigroup for a short time after the merger, said, "I think the world of Bob Rubin. I think it's a great move for Citigroup."

The move is not simple window-dressing, as the executive committee role is not that of a figurehead, said Yale Tauber, a principal at William H. Mercer, a executive compensation firm, in New York. "I haven't heard that (Mr. Reed and Mr. Weill's) relationship wasn't working," he said. Mr. Rubin "has got a fantastic view of where things are going for that kind of business. I don't think he would take a job where he would just be a referee."

Though none of the executives would talk about Mr. Rubin's compensation, Mr. Tauber said it is likely to be substantial. "They're not going to find a lot of comparable people in similar jobs. This would be a very hard job to price."

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