New AIG Chief Meets With Hank Greenberg

Robert Willumstad, chief executive at American International Group, said he had a "positive" first meeting with former CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg on Thursday.


The two met in New York four days after Willumstad, AIG chairman and a former Citigroup executive, took over as CEO at the world's largest insurer, replacing Martin Sullivan, who succeeded Greenberg in 2005.

Sullivan stepped down last weekend after the company racked up record losses from bad mortgage bets and investors pushed for his ouster.

Willumstad said one of the first things he wanted to do in his new position was establish an "interactive" relationship with Greenberg, who ran the insurer for nearly four decades but has had a strained relationship with AIG since leaving.

Greenberg, through a spokesman, declined to comment on their discussions. Willumstad said only that the meeting was "positive."

Greenberg, who quit AIG amid an accounting scandal but remains a large shareholder, has been scathing in his criticism of management in recent months as losses mounted and the stock price plummeted. There are also a string of lawsuits outstanding between the two sides.

Willumstad's meeting with Greenberg is seen as a step toward addressing Greenberg's grievances and bridging the divide that developed between each side over the past three years.

Greenberg controls more than 12 percent of AIG shares through a personal stake, family trusts, and control of companies that are AIG's largest shareholders.