Tags: aig | vacation

New AIG Chief Starts Job With Vacation

Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 10:37 AM

By Marc Davis

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Hello, I must be going.

Those might've been the first words of newly-named CEO of AIG Robert Benmosche as he began his job heading up the bailed-out insurance colossus by embarking for a two-week vocation in Croatia, according to Bloomberg News.

AIG responded promptly and emphatically with a terse “no comment.”

"It's probably not a propitious time for an incoming CEO to begin with a vacation," said Steven Seiden, who heads up a New York executive head hunting firm, quoted by Bloomberg.

Although Benmosche's departure won’t impact AIG's bottom line, from a public relations perspective, "it's probably not the wisest thing to do," said Seiden.

Benmosche, 65, formerly CEO of insurer MetLife, is the fifth CEO of troubled AIG since 2005.

AIG received $182.5 billion of government rescue money, the largest individual recipient of bailout cash.

Although AIG reported its first quarterly profit after losing more than $100 billion over the previous six quarters, the company said its subsidiaries "remained challenged."

While the firm he now runs wrestles with its various challenges, Benmosche will luxuriate in his 8,000 square foot Croatian villa on the Adriatic Coast. The place once housed the treasurer of the king of Yugoslavia.

Benmosche's predecessor, CEO Edward Liddy, brought AIG back to profitability, and worked for the princely salary of one buck.

"America has lost confidence in corporations," Liddy told The Boston Globe.

"Restoring that confidence is the first step toward regaining our footing in the global economy."

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