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John Thain Quits As CEO Again, This Time Without Blowing Up His Company First

The last time John Thain departed as a CEO under some duress, it was just after Merrill had received a taxpayer bailout (which was used among other things to pay for Thain's bonus) and also after Thain had spent $1.22 million of corporate funds to renovate two conference rooms, a reception area, and his office, $131,000 for area rugs, $68,000 for an antique credenza, $87,000 for guest chairs, $35,115 for a gold-plated commode on legs, and $1,100 for a wastebasket.

Moments ago, the 60-year-old quit for the second time in the past 7 years, this time as CEO of CIT which he joined in February 2010, however without any taxpayer bailouts on deck this time... to the best of our knowledge.

Now: what does the relatively young Thain know that everyone else doesn't?

From the CIT press release:

CIT Announces Senior Management Succession Plan

The Board of Directors of CIT Group Inc. (CIT), a leading provider of commercial lending and leasing services, today announced that Chief Executive Officer John A. Thain will retire effective March 31, 2016, and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and that CIT Board Member Ellen R. Alemany will become a member of the management team as Vice Chairman effective November 1, 2015, and upon Mr. Thain’s retirement become Chief Executive Officer. The Board also announced that Vice Chairman Steven Mnuchin will step down from Management effective March 31, 2016, and will remain as a member of the Board of Directors. The Company announced the appointment of CIT Corporate Controller Carol Hayles as Chief Financial Officer effective November 1, 2015.

Vice Admiral John Ryan, CIT Lead Director, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, said, “John has been a pivotal leader during one of the most challenging times in CIT’s more than 100 year history. Under his leadership he has overseen the successful corporate and financial restructuring of CIT. Since taking the helm in 2010, he returned CIT to profitability; rebuilt its management team; eliminated or refinanced approximately $31 billion of high-cost debt; oversaw the termination of the Company’s Written Agreement with the Federal Reserve; returned more than $1.7 billion to shareholders; established a premier Internet Bank, and completed the acquisition of Direct Capital and OneWest Bank. On behalf of the Board, employees and shareholders we extend our gratitude to John for his success and commitment to CIT.”

Mr. Ryan continued, “As part of our succession planning efforts, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Ellen Alemany as Vice Chairman of CIT as she transitions to her new role as CEO, a position she will assume on April 1, 2016. As an experienced and well respected leader in the commercial banking sector, she is well suited to assume these responsibilities and lead CIT forward. On behalf of the Board we congratulate Ellen on her new position and look forward to working with her in the future.”

Mr. Thain commented, “It’s been a pleasure to lead an outstanding group of employees over the past five years and oversee CIT’s successful restructuring. Their hard work and commitment were critical to our efforts to rebuild and grow CIT and has helped ensure that CIT continues to play an important role in supporting small and middle market businesses, two sectors that remain the backbone of the U.S. economy.”