They said it couldn’t be done. They laughed when people suggested otherwise. They had good money riding on it, fact. They were wrong. And so today, we need to give a little credit where a little credit is due. A lot, in fact. Today, we need to give it up for AIG. Specifically, to the man at the top. Bobby “I’m gonna do unspeakable things to Andrew Cuomo” Benmosche, who’s achieved something so huge, it must be noted, and perhaps even toasted later today when his employees cut out early for 2for1’s. Have the taxpayers gotten their money back? No. Think bigger and wayyy more momentous.
Robert Benmosche is set to become the insurer’s longest-serving chief executive officer since the firm’s near-collapse in 2008. Benmosche, 66, will begin his 12th month leading New York- based AIG in July. That is longer than predecessors Edward Liddy, who retired after about 11 months in August 2009, and Robert Willumstad, who was ousted after fewer than 100 days as a condition of the insurer’s 2008 government rescue. AIG was bailed out after losses on derivatives tied to mortgages.
“Given that he survived 12 months, I’d say Benmosche learned very quickly that this is not just another CEO job,” said Phillip Phan, professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore. “He has to create a more sustainable, smaller operation, to move away from derivatives, and he’s having to do it all in the public eye.”