Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) — Vikram Pandit may soon take on his toughest puzzle since graduate-school professors assigned him an asset-pricing problem even they couldn’t solve. He has emerged as the leading internal candidate for chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., according to a person familiar with the search.
That’s pretty scary news for Citigroup shareholders. Chuck Prince picked Pandit out of the blue to head Citigroup’s structured finance unit, and it was seen as both a significant stretch for Pandit and a signal of desperation from Prince. The fact that Pandit now leads the shortlist indicates that nobody–especially Citigroup eminence grise Robert Rubin, or interim CEO Win Bischoff–wants to be saddled with the long-term responsibility of saving Citigroup: presumably indicating that Citigroup’s prospects become progressively uglier the deeper inside you go.