What’s Citi doing to Pandit?

By Felix Salmon
June 19, 2009

Breakingviews today has a very odd column saying, essentially, that Vikram Pandit should keep his job despite the fact that since he took over at Citigroup, he’s made a large number of serious mistakes and has done almost nothing right.

The thing which most struck me about the column, however, was the photo which accompanies it, of Pandit sporting a double chin of Larry Summers proportions. It’s not just Pandit’s dot portrait which is changing, it seems, it’s Pandit himself. Here’s a recent shot of Pandit, on the right, next to his official Citi headshot, on the left. Maybe the real question shouldn’t be whether Pandit’s good for Citi, but rather whether Citi is good for Pandit.



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Managing Citigroup must be akin to playing golf left-handed on Bethpage Black, a problem on it’s own for most amateurs, while being a right-handed golfer. That column was too delightfully simple on details. What about Pandit bringing Terry Dial (think that’s right), a career Wells retail person, to manage the consumer business? What about the “spin-off” into the MS/Smith Barney behemoth retail brokerage?

Ken Lewis brought too much on himself. Up until the CW acquisition, most would have concurred his reputation as an operational genius was unquestioned (which was largely why Lewis took over after Hugh McColl)

For both CEOs, though, nothing left to do but quote Bill the Cat…”Ack!”

Posted by Griff | Report as abusive

Oh my dear sweet, young, and innoncent Felix, you are so cute. You can’t imagine anyone actually getting old.

Posted by Neal | Report as abusive

Cherchez le psychiatre: He may be taking medications that have weight gain as side effects.

Posted by Mycroft | Report as abusive

He’s been Larry Summers-ized.

Posted by Vance Maverick | Report as abusive

sleep deprivation, it is likely also that he overeats to keep alert, plus too much stress-induced cortisol will keep that cycle going.

Posted by Laocoon | Report as abusive

This article is not worthy of being published under the Reuters brand. Have some couth when writing such articles.

Posted by jigga | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon: -1 point
Reuters: -100 points

This is not business, and we are not idle housewives looking to gossip.

Posted by Philadelphia Freedom | Report as abusive