As you may have heard, earlier today, Citigroup announced that CEO Vikram Pandit would be resigning from his post at the bank, effective immediately, along with several longtime lieutenants. While the news came as a shock to Wall Street, it was assumed that on the inside, employees had been given some advanced warning and time to get used to the idea of life without Uncle Vik. That they weren’t just realizing now those hugs on the elevator Monday had been their last. That he’d stashed something away for them to remember him by. (A one dollar bill with this face on it. A glossy 8X10 photo to keep on their desks. SOMETHING.) That he hadn’t just left in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for those who’ve grown quite attached to Vickles since he took the reigns in 2007, however, that’s exactly what happened.

The news of Mr. Pandit’s departure after five years atop the company came as a shock to Citigroup employees, including senior executives. In the firm’s London office, some executives emerged from a meeting and read the news on their computers and Bloomberg terminals, well before the bank’s internal memo was released. Soon a dozen employees were crowded in front of television monitors, following the story on financial business shows. Others were seen around a water cooler on the trading floor, discussing the news. Still others retreated to their desks to parse Citigroup’s recent earnings release, looking for hints of internal conflict. “There’s shock,” said a Citigroup executive based in New York. “Even senior people were surprised.”

And although early reports suggested that Count Vikula had simply decided that Citigroup had come so far since he’d taken the gig five years ago that his work was done, and that while it was time to move onto the next stage of his life, he’d cherish the memories and the people he met at Citi, it now sounds like the split was a bit more acrimonious than that.

Pandit abruptly stepped down following a clash with the New York company’s board over strategy and operating performance at businesses including its institutional clients group, according to people with knowledge of the bank.

At this time, some questions that need answering:

* Does today’s news change Meredith Whitney’s opinion of the Big C, which, as of last April was that the thought of it still sickened her?

* Where is the comment from Prince Alwaleed, AKA Citi’s largest individual shareholder and Vikram’s number one fan?

* Is Sheila Bair happy?

* Will Citi’s food services employees treat new CEO Mike Corbat in the manner he’s grown accustomed?

The ladies who serve and prepare the food at Currier House all have crushes on senior Mike Corbat. The woman who checks off the names–the one sitting at the desk–smiles and winks at him. Then the greyish, plump one who serves the french onion dip giggles, when Corbat quips something that’s not-so-funny. And during lunch, a man who also works in the dining room–he’s the aged guy, with a slightly arched back who stands around in his red coat–comes over to Corbat and gives him some present all wrapped up in tinfoil. The guy in the red coat paternally pats him on the shoulder and walks away. “I just give them tickets to some of the games,” he explains. You see, Mike Corbat is a 6-ft, 3-m, 230 pound dear. Whatever the case. Corbat–an all-Ivy offensive guard on the Harvard football team–may be a dear to the people who work in the dining hall, but he certainly isn’t dear to his opponents. People who are dears on the field don’t get contacted by at least a half-dozen teams informing him of the possibilities of his playing in the National Football League.

* Would all of this have been different if those cheap fucks had just given him his Zen Garden?

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Resigns [WSJ]
Mike Corbat: All-Ivy And A Perfect Team Player [Crimson via Counterparties]
Earlier: Vikram Pandit: HAPPY.AS.A.CLAM
Related: “…certain design elements have been nixed since the initial planning phase, including a Zen garden.”

28 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (28)

  1. Posted by John Thomas broker | October 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    there are no second chances in this business

  2. Posted by Sean | October 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    If you love something, let it go….if it comes back it was meant to be…..if it joins a Buy-Side firm then you know it was never meant to be.

  3. Posted by Moon Egg | October 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    "In the firm’s London office, some executives emerged from a meeting and read the news on Dealbreaker, well before the bank’s internal memo was released."

    There, fixed it for you

  4. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    8am – Jim Cramer -" Pandit leaves Citi because he wasn't being compensated properly, he turned bank into 'juggernaut' on street" .. umm what bro?

    8:30am – Jim Cramer – "Pandit was one of the most well respected CEO's on Wall Street right now, leaves Citi after possibly the best earnings release I have ever seen" .. Really Jim?

    9am – Jim Cramer – "Pandit was forced out, he was complacent in how he ran the firm and lost the respect of his top lieutenants" …thanks for the input Cramer

  5. Posted by Casey Kasem | October 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I beg your pardon, but I never promised you a Zen Garden

  6. Posted by pazzo83 | October 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    "You see, Mike Corbat is a 6-ft, 3-m, 230 pound dear."

    Yeah, but how much does he bench?

  7. Posted by gUEST | October 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    "And during lunch, a man who also works in the dining room–he’s the aged guy, with a slightly arched back who stands around in his red coat–comes over to Corbat and gives him some present all wrapped up in tinfoil."

    Unfortunately it was a package of fresh shit, but it's a small price to pay for the cost savings of Citi's new Hire the Mentally Challenged initiative.

  8. Posted by investorcluzo | October 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    the guys at 200 West Street are beside themselves as the news of their earnings beat and dividend increase falls below the fold…

  9. Posted by Trade Floor Midget | October 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    If your name is supposed to be a pun I'm not getting it, if in fact it's truly an accurate description, maybe find a new place to share your thoughts on the internet, I'm sure there Wolf of Wall Street trailer download sites with comment sections, or something.

  10. Posted by Might happen? | October 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    1pm – JIm Cramer admits to possible dementia and schizophrenia since 2007.

  11. Posted by Grammar Nazi | October 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    "Could all of this have been different if those cheap fucks has just given him his Zen Garden?"

    *Had

  12. Posted by Sheila Zombair | October 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Ahhh….now his brainzz are free to be eaten…..

  13. Posted by WSJ Hair Quant | October 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Yet breathe a collective sigh of relief that Corbat's full head of hair leaves them secure in their position as the baldest bank on the street.

  14. Posted by Internet Cat | October 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    I can has Zen Garden? Lolwut?

  15. Posted by TheDetailGuy | October 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I don't know about the bench, dearie, but I and the other ladies used to show him up on the leg press.

    Madeline Albright

  16. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Are you retarded?

  17. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    If it starts a hedge fund, buy it back

  18. Posted by PermaGuestII | October 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Presumably quite a bit, if he's really 15 feet tall.

  19. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    "one of the most well respected CEOs on Wall Street"! priceless. one of the cleanest dirty shirts…

  20. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Presumably not so much if he's really 15 feet tall and weighs 230 pounds.

  21. Posted by Guest | October 16, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Don't let anyone ever tell you the Ivy League is a breeding ground for NFL talent.

    –Buffalo Bills fan

  22. Posted by Put_Option | October 16, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Who would have thought that after his vesting requirement was done he'd get tired of being paid $1 a year to man a sinking ship

  23. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Be quiet and finish your cheddar cheese salad.

  24. Posted by Guestido | October 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Aye I've heard. And if he were here, he'd consume non performing assets with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse!

  25. Posted by guest | October 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Pandit: Havens, I am quitting and leaving you in charge
    Havens: Did we get our last installment from the Old Lane deal?
    Pandit: Yes we did
    Havens: I quit too.

  26. Posted by ILoveLamp | October 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I demand a claw-back of $5!

  27. Posted by asdf678 | October 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I heard they offered him Old Lane back for $1. "No way I'd buy that POS"

  28. Posted by Guesticular Cancer | October 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    You mean third chances, right?

    – J. Corzine