CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo got her own interview with ex-Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit today, after the news of his exit from the bank rocked Wall Street.
Most of her interview sounded like what we heard from Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker earlier today. Bartiromo said that Pandit told her that he called Mike O’Neil (of Citi’s board) to discuss stepping down.
He also said that he didn’t stay on until the end of the year because there was “no reason to have the old CEO looking over his (Michael Corbat’s) shoulder.”
Pandit also impressed on Bartiromo that his decision was not about compensation, “Maria, lets not forget I was the one who worked for a dollar.”
Bartiromo, however, wasn’t buying that. She laid out what she thinks is going on in the quote below:
My analysis? I frankly think this is about compensation. Lets face it you have an individual here who sold his hedge fund for $800 million taking the CEO role for 5 years and then during the financial crisis agreed to work for a dollar getting bashed and bashed and bashed again by the President — by the populists. He probably said to himself, ‘Look, I’m done. They don’t want to pay me commensurate with what some of my colleagues in banking are making, I can’t work for a dollar anymore…Again, that’s my analysis.”
It’s probably worth noting that Pandit’s compensation package for 2011 totaled $14.9 million, and that it was given to him despite the fact that a majority of Citi shareholders voted against the package.
Watch the video of Bartiromo’s analysis below: