Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 23:11 UK

Boss to quit ailing insurer AIG

AIG sign
The insurer has received government loans and aid

Insurer AIG says its chief executive, Edward Liddy, plans to step down after eight months in the job.

Mr Liddy was appointed after AIG's near collapse and government bail-out in September, and his time in the job was expected to be temporary.

His tenure at AIG was not easy. Bonuses paid to AIG executives caused widespread controversy.

Mr Liddy, who was being paid a $1 annual salary, will leave the company when a replacement is found.

"Much work remains to be done at AIG, but much has already been accomplished," Mr Liddy said.

AIG: TIMELINE
AIG logo
16 Sept: AIG avoids bankruptcy with $85bn bail-out
6 Nov: The amount of money made available to AIG reaches $123bn
2 March: AIG announces biggest quarterly loss in corporate history of $61.7bn and receives a third bail-out of $30bn
14 March: Documents show AIG promised to pay $220m in retention bonuses. $55m was paid in December and $165m by March 15
17 March: President Barack Obama says he is outraged by the bonuses
19 March: US lawmakers vote in favour of a bill to levy a 90% tax on big bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers
23 March: Nine of the 10 top executives who received bonuses agree to return them
8 May: AIG reports smallest quarterly loss for 18 months
21 May: Boss Edward Liddy says he will step down
Source: Reuters

"Our pace of success will depend on global economic conditions and financial markets. It is likely to take several years," he added.

Mr Liddy's time at AIG has not been smooth sailing.

The insurer has been heavily criticised for paying $165m in bonuses after taking government money, although many top executives have agreed to return the payments.

AIG made the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history of $61.7bn in the final three months of 2008.

Ranked the 18th biggest company in the world by Forbes at the start of 2008, the insurer suffered massive losses relating to the problems afflicting the housing and credit markets.

The US government has committed $180bn to AIG, in return for an 80% stake.

Stephen Bollenbach, AIG's lead director, said that Mr Liddy had led AIG "effectively and courageously", and without compensation.

"Ed Liddy answered the call of his country and the needs of AIG without reservation amid one of the darkest periods of the current financial crisis," Mr Bollenbach said.



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