Michael O’Neill is the financial handyman that’s here to clean up Citigroup’s mess.
Even with a history of turning banks in bad situations around, O’Neill has fallen under the scope of the publicity radar. But his appointment to the position of chairman at Citibank should change that.
Many say if good results come of his new role, O’Neill could become the next chairman of Citigroup, according to the Wall Street Journal. The current chairman, Dick Parsons, is expected to stay until at least April of next year.
Something in O’Neill’s work history tells us that he should be very good at his job. O’Neill was appointed CEO of Barclays in 1999, but had to resign after a health setback. But he didn’t let that stop him — O’Neill became the head of Bank of Hawaii in 2000, and in four years completely turned the bank’s operations around. The company’s stock was worth four-times as much when he left the bank compared to when he started.
He’s got a colourful history, and isn’t afraid to talk about it. O’Neill joined the Marines after college, according to the WSJ. And he once revealed that he was humiliated in a class at UVA’s Darden Business School when he didn’t study or do the reading.
O’Neill was brought on to Citibank in 2009, when a separate board was created for the retail banking division in hopes of better oversight following the financial crisis, and they wanted a guy with more experience.
At one point in 2010, he was a candidate to become CEO of Bank of America, but didn’t get the position because he wanted to split BofA and Merrill Lynch (hm, that might’ve actually been a good move considering the inner turmoil simmering at BofA).