Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit unexpectedly resigned yesterday. He was one of just three major bank CEOs who had led their firms through the 2008 financial crisis that was still at the helm.
Pandit left having made $260 million with Citi, including his annual compensation as CEO and the money he made when he sold his hedge fund to Citi in 2007. But to hear CNBC host Maria Bartiromo tell it, Pandit quit because he hadn’t made enough money and because he was getting “bashed and bashed again by the President, by the populists”:
Let’s face it, we have an individual here who sold his hedge fund to Citi for $800 million, taking the CEO role five years ago, and then during the financial crisis agreeing to work for $1. Getting bashed and bashed and bashed again by the President, by the populists, and he probably just said to himself, “look, I’m done. If they’re not going to pay me commiserate with what some of my colleagues in banking are making, I can’t work for a dollar anymore.”
CNBC’s Jim Cramer added later, “you know what, I think people in general, they welcome any change at the banks, including our President.” Watch it:
Pandit indeed worked for $1 following the financial crisis. But he was awarded $15 million last year, despite his company’s precipitous decline. Overall, he’s been paid hundreds of millions of dollars as his company lost 88 percent of its value.