The Wall Street Journal reports AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche threatened to walk last week. Chafing after the recent compensation review by pay czar Ken Feinberg, Benmosche reportedly told AIG directors he was “done,” but the board talked him down and he agreed to think it over.

Benmosche took over as the insurer’s chief executive in August, becoming the fourth person to hold the post in about a year. On his watch, the recipient of up to $180 billion of federal aid, including more than $80 billion in loans, posted its second straight quarterly profit last week.

A recovery in the value of AIG’s investments has helped improve the bottom line at the 80 percent state-owned insurer, and it may be that the next CEO, if Benmosche catches the revolving door on the fly, will be able to justify better pay on improving performance. AIG said at the end of October it was no longer looking to sell two Japanese units, AIG Edison Life Insurance and AIG Star Life insurance, because it now believes they will help improve its corporate value.

There is still the matter of all that money owed to the U.S. government. Consider it a long-term objective for any AIG CEO.