Citigroup CEO

Why Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Was Forced Out (NYSE: C)

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit announced today (Tuesday) he has made an abrupt departure from the troubled bank, the day after it reported third-quarter earnings that beat estimates.

The story became more interesting as the day wore on after it was announced he was forced out by the board.

The theories as to why Pandit would be asked to leave got juicier as the Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) CEO's exit was paired with the co-resignation of Citi COO John Havens, a long-time associate of Pandit.

Mike Holland, chairman of New York-based Holland & Co, which oversees more than $4 billion of assets told Reuters, "It's not a shock that [Pandit] is no longer there, but the surprise is this is all happening very quickly. Why is he leaving so quickly? I'm not a Citi shareholder, but if I were I'd be disappointed that Havens is gone, in some ways more than Pandit."

The timing hinted the two exits were not simply a natural transition, but instead related to some skeletons lurking in the bank's boardroom.

Just as quick and startling was the immediate removal of Pandit's name and photo from Citigroup's Website.

The swift announcement that Michael Corbat, previously chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa, would replace Pandit as Citi's CEO and board member also raised some eyebrows.

So what could've caused this sudden changing of the guard?

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