* James Schiro to become lead independent director
* Current lead director John Bryan to retire in May
* Lois Juliber also stepping down
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
April 2 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has named Jim Schiro to replace lead independent board director John Bryan, who plans to retire in May.
Schiro, former chief executive of both Zurich Financial Services AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been on Goldman’s board since May 2009 and has been an “influential voice,” Goldman Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.
Schiro is chairman of Goldman’s audit committee, a role he will cede to M. Michele Burns, a consulting executive at Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc who has been on Goldman’s board since last October.
Bryan’s departure has been widely expected since he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 last year. But his position gained new attention last week after a prominent shareholder group said it had withdrawn a proposal to separate the chairman and CEO roles, because Goldman had agreed to alter its board structure to include a lead independent director.
Goldman changed Bryan’s title in March - he had previously been a “presiding director” - and gave his role more responsibilities.
Goldman said on Monday that neither Bryan nor another director, Lois D. Juliber, will stand for re-election at its annual meeting in May. The bank said Juliber is stepping down due to “increasing time commitments associated with her other activities.”
Juliber, a former Colgate-Palmolive Co executive, was one of four board members who oversaw an internal group known as the Business Standards Committee, which reviewed Goldman’s business practices after the financial crisis and issued a report in January 2011.
She also serves on the boards of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co and Kraft Foods Inc, and is chairman of the MasterCard Foundation and director of Women’s World Banking, according to Goldman’s website.