Citi's Largest Holder Wants Weill Back as CEO

Monday, 5 Nov 2007 | 10:43 AM ET

Citigroup'slargest shareholder, Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, may want ousted Chief Executive Charles Prince to be replaced by former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, at least on an interim basis.

Sandy Weill's Saudi Arabia Trip
Sandy Weill paid a visit Citigroup's largest shareholder, Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, to discuss the possibility of Weill coming back to Citi on an interim basis, reports CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.

Weill and Markets and Banking CEO Michael Klein traveled on Oct. 29 in a Citigroup jet to Riyadh for talks with Alwaleed. At some point, they discussed Weill's possible return to the bank.

According to a member of Citigroup's board, the board had no interest in bringing Weill back.

Alwaleed declined to say whether he was committed to supporting Weill as Citigroup's next CEO.

Alwaleed, who had initially expressed support for Prince and Citigroup's management after the banking giant reported big writedowns, withdrew his backing and phoned Weill on learning that further writedowns were to come.

Alwaleed's stake in Citigroup has lost around $4 billion in the last three weeks.

According to Robert Rubin, who assumed the role of Citigroup chairman over the weekend, Prince was not forced out of his job, but instead chose to resign, saying it was the only honorable thing to do given the continuation of losses at the company.

Rubin was formerly Treasury secretary and co-chairman at Goldman Sachs.

Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Citi Europe and a member of Citi's Business Heads, Operating and Management Committees, will serve as acting CEO.

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