Less than 24 hours after beating Wall Street expectations with third quarter results, Citigroup (C) Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and President and Chief Operating Officer John Havens said that they will be leaving the company immediately. Pandit had held the post since December 2007, not too long before the markets crashed.
The news make have stunned Wall Street, but didn’t seem to catch Citigroup off-guard. The company’s website already has Michael L. Corbat listed as its new Chief Executive Officer. Corbat, who has been at Citigroup since and its predecessors since 1983, had been Citigroup’s CEO of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. There has been some speculation that Pandit was actually fired by the Board of Directors.
On Monday, Citigroup shares lifted thesector as it reported a plummet in profit because of one-time charges, but posted a profit of $3.27 billion, or $1.06 per share, excluding those charges. The latest third quarter profit was up from $2.57 billion, or 84 cents per share, in the year prior period and ahead of analyst expectations of earnings of 96 cents per share. Shares of C advanced 5.5 percent in Monday trading.
Pandit, 55, was on the company’s earnings call, but gave no hints that he was resigning as chief executive and walking away from the board of the third largest bank in the U.S. by assets. Havens was planning on exiting at the end of the year, but has now expedited his departure.
“Given the progress we have made in the last few years, I have concluded that now is the right time for someone else to take the helm at Citigroup,” Pandit said in a corporate statement.
Shares of C dipped pre-market upon the 8 AM announcement of the executive resignations, but have recovered to be trading ahead more than one percent less than an hour after the opening bell.