November 4, 2007 / 2:58 PM / 12 years ago

Citigroup seen naming Rubin interim chair-NY Times

NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) is highly likely to name Robert Rubin, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, as interim chairman while it searches for a permanent replacement for Charles Prince, the New York Times said on Sunday, citing a person briefed on the situation.

Prince is expected to resign as chairman and chief executive of the largest U.S. bank later Sunday at an emergency board meeting, the Times and the Wall Street Journal said.

It is unclear whether Citigroup’s board plans to name an acting chief executive or a group of executives to run the bank, the Times said, citing the person.

Citigroup spokeswoman Christina Pretto declined to comment.

Rubin, 69, chairs Citigroup’s executive committee. He has long been a close adviser to Prince, focused on strategy rather than day-to-day operations.

Before joining Citigroup in 1999, Rubin was part of the administration of President Bill Clinton, serving as Treasury secretary from 1995 to 1999. Previously, he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs & Co., becoming co-chairman.

The 57-year-old Prince has had a tumultuous four-year tenure at Citigroup. His departure would follow significant losses from exposure to bad loans, mortgages and other debt.

A $6.5 billion write-down led to a 57 percent decline in third-quarter profit. Directors at Sunday’s meeting may discuss the possibility of another large write-down, the Times said.

If he leaves Citigroup, Prince would become the second Wall Street chief executive to lose his job over the last week following subprime mortgage problems.

Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N on Oct. 30 ousted its chief executive, Stanley O’Neal. It has yet to name a replacement.

Citigroup shares are down 32 percent this year, and down 17 percent since Prince became chief executive in October 2003. The shares closed Friday at $37.73. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel)

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