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AIG Hires New HR Exec, New Chief Admin Officer

Source: WSJ

Posted on 05 Jan 2010

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American International Group Inc. (AIG) on Monday made several senior appointments, naming a new head of human resources and a new chief administrative officer who previously worked at a Wall Street firm for over two decades.

In an internal memo, AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche said Jeff Hurd, a senior employee at the giant insurer and recently its chief administrative officer, will become head of human resources. Mr. Hurd also recently oversaw AIG's asset-management restructuring and was interim president of its real-estate arm, the memo said.

Michael Cowan, a longtime employee at Merrill Lynch & Co., is joining AIG as chief administrative officer, according to the memo. Mr. Cowan had been at Merrill since 1986 and was most recently senior vice president, Global Corporate Services, at the Wall Street firm, the memo added. AIG said in his new role, Mr. Cowan will oversee the company's operations and systems, corporate administration, and the "separation office," which focuses on readying businesses for deals.

Nick Ashooh, AIG's senior vice president of communications since September 2006, is leaving to join aluminum giant Alcoa Inc. as its head of corporate affairs. Mr. Ashooh is being succeeded by Christina Pretto, a former Citigroup Inc. executive who joined AIG's communications department a year ago.

The new appointments follow last week's resignation of AIG's general counsel and vice chairman Anastasia Kelly, who had oversight of human resources and communications. Ms. Kelly, who had been with AIG since 2006, resigned after her pay was reduced significantly as a result of limits imposed by U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg. She will receive several million dollars in severance payments under an AIG executive severance plan.

Last week, the company also said that Suzanne Folsom, its chief compliance and regulatory officer, had left the firm. AIG said it is looking for successors to the duo.

AIG's previous chief human-resources officer, Andrew Kaslow, left the government-controlled insurer this past fall.

In his memo, Mr. Benmosche told AIG employees to remain focused on its "core priorities" which he said include repaying U.S. taxpayers, strengthening AIG's businesses and serving its clients.