Freddie Mac CEO to resign

Newly-appointed chief David Moffett says he will leave by March 13. Successor is yet to be named.

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By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Freddie Mac's chief executive, installed last year after the government took over the troubled mortgage finance company, is resigning, the company and its regulator said Monday.

David Moffett will step down by March 13. Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) said it would announce a successor by then.

Moffett said that he planned to return to the financial services sector. He served as chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp from 1993 until 2007.

"We are very sorry to see David go," Freddie Chairman John Koskinen said in a statement. "He made valuable contributions to Freddie Mac as the company transitioned into conservatorship."

Moffett replaced Richard Syron as Freddie CEO in September, when Freddie and Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) were placed under conservatorship by its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Herb Allison, former CEO of pension provider TIAA-CREF, replaced Daniel Mudd as CEO of Fannie Mae.

Both companies back mortgages held by private homeowners, and have received massive cash infusions from the government.

Freddie Mac, which has accessed nearly $14 billion in government funds, said it may need up to $35 billion more when it reports its financial results in coming weeks.

According to Freddie Mac, Moffett was hired "to provide leadership for the company during one of the toughest housing markets in decades" and to work with the FHFA in bringing stability to the housing market.

Back in November, Freddie Mac reported a third-quarter loss of $25 billion, or $19.44 per share. In the next few weeks, the company is expected to report a fourth-quarter loss of $10.27 per share, according to a consensus of analyst opinion compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Fannie Mae reported a fourth-quarter loss of $25.2 billion, or $4.47 per share, its sixth straight quarter of losses.

President Obama announced last month that Fannie and Freddie will be used to provide access to low-cost refinancing for borrowers with little or no equity in their home. The Obama administration intends to help five million home owners avoid foreclosure through this plan.

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