Citigroup: Vikram Pandit (CEO)
Why this was a big quit:
When Pandit’s announcement of resignation went public, it was the biggest surprise that everyone knew was coming. Citi’s official line was sparse, Pandit left voluntarily, and that’s all they had to say about that. Pandit’slieutenant, John Havens also stepped down, leaving an immediate void to fill. To his credit, Pandit proved capable of leading the company through the most difficult times, quadrupling stock price from the single digit valley in March 2009.
Why this is not as big as our Top 10:
Along with a stagnant stock price since 2010, the collateral damage to reputation and relationships may have been too much for Citi investors to bear. There are ongoing concerns by regulators of Citi’s leadership and tactics. Some opinions said “his leadership steered the ship into the bottom of the sea”. The true drivers of Pandit’s resignation was not told and it is likely more mutual than indicated. Therefore, Pandit keeps his cash ($200 million over 5 years, no severance) but loses the title (of “Biggest Quit”) and is only a 2012 Contender.