Back in August of last year when Robert Benmosche was named successor to former AIG CEO Edward Liddy, much talk revolved around how long he would stay on the job.
Given his predecessor's relatively short reign after being appointed by the federal government in late 2008 just after the flashpoint of the financial crisis, as well as the public pillorying, Benmosche initially turned down the job three times before finally relenting. But now, about nine months into his tenure, MetLife's former CEO told Bloomberg that he expects to remain with the company for another year or two, and will help prepare the company for his eventual departure.
“The difference I will bring is that I’m going to be here for more than six months,” Benmosche said during the employee meeting August 4, soon after he was hired. “I’m going to be here until I get it right, and you’re all comfortable it’s right. So it’s not a question of I’m here for a year, two years, and then I’m going back to my retirement.”
As for his eventual replacement, Benmosche said last week that he has a number of executives currently working at AIG whom he feels capable of replacing him.
To date, Benmosche's turn at the helm has been relatively successful, as he's divested a number of the insurer's businesses, including both ALICO and AIA Group in the last month, but has taken a different tack from his predecessor. Where Liddy initially planned to swiftly liquidate many of the company's subsidiaries in an effort to repay its $80 billion in government loans, Benmosche has subscribed to a different strategy that originally centered on selling stakes in its businesses rather than shedding entire units so the company could reap tax benefits.
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