Robert “Steve” Miller, the former chairman and chief executive officer of the bankrupt Delphi Corp., has reappeared on Wall Street, signing on as chairman of AIG, the badly tarnished insurance giant, which was at the center of the financial panic of 2008.
Miller succeeds Harvey Golub as chairman of the AIG Board of Directors, who quit after a row with AIG’s current chief executive officer, Bob Benmosche.
“At this point, I view asking the Board to choose between us would be an abdication of my responsibility to lead. Consequently, I’m resigning for the simple reason I believe it is easier to replace a chairman than a CEO – particularly a company in the midst of two major activities: (1) a major corporate restructuring, and (2) development of an exit plan from government control, both of which involve executing a long list of difficult tasks,” Golub said in his resignation letter
Miller said in a statement he believed AIG has established strong momentum over the last year, “and we remain fully committed to delivering on AIG’s core priorities: repaying taxpayers, meeting all of the company’s obligations to its various stakeholders, and restructuring the company so that it emerges as a smaller, more focused enterprise worthy of investor confidence.”
AIG was the largest single recipient of bailout funds from the federal government’s controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP – the same source of rescue money used to save General Motors and Chrysler. The insurance company’s business and trading practices, executive compensation, and ethics have all come under intense scrutiny since it was bailed out by the U.S. Treasury.