AIG taps former MetLife chief as CEO

The bailed-out insurer picks Robert Benmosche to replace Edward Liddy as chief executive.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Troubled insurer American International Group Inc. said Monday it has chosen former MetLife chief Robert Benmosche as its new CEO.

Benmosche would succeed Edward Liddy as AIG chief executive. Liddy joined the company as chairman and CEO last September, within hours of the company getting billions of dollars in support from the U.S. government after nearly collapsing under losses on repackaged mortgages it had guaranteed.

In May, Liddy said he planned to step down once replacements were found to fill the CEO and chairman roles.

"Our stakeholders can look forward to a seamless transition and rest assured that the work of rebuilding the value of AIG's businesses and repaying the government will continue uninterrupted," said Liddy in a statement.

Benmosche, 65, retired from MetLife (MET, Fortune 500) in 2006 after eight years at the helm of what is now the largest U.S. life insurer. He led MetLife's demutualization in 2000, transforming the company from an insurer owned by its policyholders to one that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

His success in restructuring MetLife's ownership could bode well for AIG, which is having to reshape itself in the wake of its federal bailout. Once the world's largest insurer, AIG is in the process of selling off assets to try to repay more than $80 billion in loans from the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, the company also announced that Paula Rosput Reynolds, vice chairman and chief restructuring officer, will leave the company at the end of the third quarter.

Reynolds is in charge of overseeing AIG's divestiture of assets and serves as the primary liaison with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She reports directly to the chairman and the CEO.

In total, AIG has been given a taxpayer lifeline of up to $180 billion over the course of three successive bailouts. The company is expected to report second-quarter results this week. It has reported billions of dollars in losses in each of the previous five quarters.

AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) shares ended the session up 46 cents at $13.60. To top of page

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