NEW YORK – Citigroup Inc. (C) dismissed a televised report Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Sallie Krawcheck may be preparing to resign because she is unhappy with her job.
"Rumors about Sallie Krawcheck looking to resign are not correct," Citigroup spokesman Mike Hanretta said. Krawcheck herself could not be reached immediately for comment.
Krawcheck, one of Wall Street's most powerful women, joined Citigroup in 2002 from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., where she was chief executive. She became the bank's CFO in Nov. 2004.
The possibility of her departure from the largest U.S. bank was raised in a report on CNBC television on Wednesday.
"She told me point blank she is not leaving now," reporter Charles Gasparino said, referring to a Tuesday conversation. "She has been telling people it's very difficult to work there, and she really doesn't like her job too much lately."
He added that her displeasure is "leading a lot of top executives on the Street to think that, yes, at some point, Sallie is going to leave the firm."
A change in Krawcheck's status might be seen as a defeat for Charles Prince, Citigroup's chief executive.
Since taking over in Oct. 2003, Prince has improved internal controls after a series of high-profile scandals, but has struggled to boost Citigroup's stock price, restore faster profit and revenue growth, and keep costs down.
Krawcheck "fit the mold on the ethics front," said Ralph Cole, a portfolio manager at Ferguson, Wellman Capital Management in Portland, Oregon. "You hoped she could grow into the position, but I haven't seen anything in recent conference calls that shows she has an impressive strategy or vision."
Cole helps invest $2.5 billion, and is considering selling Citigroup shares.
At Citigroup, Krawcheck was widely credited with restoring the luster of the Smith Barney unit, which had become tarnished amid a growing Wall Street scandal over biased stock research.
Since becoming CFO, Krawcheck has received praise for improving Citigroup's disclosures. But she, like many competitors, has struggled with narrowing profit margins, as long- and short-term interest rates converge.
Citigroup shares rose 2 cents to $50.63 in afternoon trading. Through Tuesday, the shares had risen just 11 percent under Prince, while the 24-member Philadelphia KBW Bank Index was up 30 percent.