NEW YORK Jan 14 Hamid Biglari, a 12-year
veteran of Citigroup who was most recently head of
emerging markets, is leaving the company, according to a memo
from new CEO Mike Corbat on Monday.
Biglari, also a vice chairman and a member of the company's
business development committee, will "explore other professional
opportunities," according to the memo, which was seen by
Biglari is the latest senior executive to leave as
Corbat realigns the company's chain of command. In October,
Corbat was suddenly named CEO to replace Vikram Pandit, whom the
board pushed out.
Biglari, a former physicist and McKinsey consultant, joined
Citigroup when Sanford "Sandy" Weill was its chief executive. He
held senior positions at the bank, mainly at its investment
bank, through multiple chief executives.
When Vikram Pandit was CEO, Biglari helped the bank figure
out its post-crisis strategy. In October 2009, Biglari told the
Wall Street Journal that Citigroup had to remake itself. He
equated the bank's transformation to the switch that IBM
made in the 1990's, when IBM Chief Executive Louis Gerstner
focused less on areas like hardware and more on providing
software and information technology services.
"People were writing IBM off then but Gerstner completely
reinvented the company," Biglari said. "We, too, have to make
the elephant dance," he added, referring to the title of
Gerstner's 2003 memoir, "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?"