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AIG’s Hancock Throws in the Towel

After two tumultuous years, AIG CEO Peter Hancock is throwing in the towel.

In early March, Peter Hancock announced that he was stepping down as CEO of insurer AIG—a move that followed a struggle to deliver the performance the board and investors wanted.

Hancock moved into the top job in 2014, making him the company’s fifth CEO since Maurice “Hank” Greenberg left in 2005. That changing lineup is a reflection of the challenges that have faced the company, including having to deal with a high-profile government bailout after the 2008 financial crisis. AIG eventually paid off the government loan, but that was not the end of its troubles.

“THE JOB IS INCREDIBLY DEMANDING AND POSSIBLY THE MOST COMPLICATED WITHIN THE PROPERTY-AND-CASUALTY INDUSTRY.”

Hancock’s compensation was reduced significantly in his second year due to missed profitability targets. By the time he resigned, the company had seen four unprofitable quarters out of the previous six—and its fourth quarter loss was $3.04 billion.

Over the last two years, Hancock’s job has been complicated by activist investors, including Carl Icahn, who want to divide AIG into three separate companies—a move that Hancock did not support.

Hancock is staying on as CEO until AIG finds a new top executive. With AIG’s challenges, that may not be easy.  As one Atlantic Equities analyst noted, “The job is incredibly demanding and possibly the most complicated within the property-and-casualty industry.”

About Peter Haapaniemi

Peter Haapaniemi
Peter Haapaniemi is a Farmington, MIchigan-based freelance journalist specializing in business issues.