NEW YORK (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N), the largest U.S. savings and loan, is replacing Chief Executive Kerry Killinger, making him the latest high-profile casualty of the credit crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Sunday.
Killinger will be succeeded by Alan Fishman, who is now chairman of mortgage broker Meridian Capital Group, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
Killinger was told on Thursday by WaMu’s board chairman, Stephen Frank, and another director that the board had concluded he should retire, the Journal reported.
A spokesman for Washington Mutual could not be reached immediately for comment.
WaMu’s board stripped Killinger of his chairman’s post earlier this year after shareholders voted for a replacement. Killinger had been chief executive of Seattle-based Washington Mutual since 1990, and became chairman the following year.
In July, Washington Mutual posted a $3.33 billion quarterly loss, and said losses through 2011 in its one-family residential mortgage portfolio would probably be toward the high end of its prior forecast of $12-$19 billion.
Its shares have fallen nearly 70 percent so far this year. The paper said some investors involved with WaMu may consider a merger or sale next year if the shares don’t recover.
Earlier this year, the thrift set plans to raise $7.2 billion of dilutive capital from outside investors led by private equity firm TPG TPG.UL. It took that deal over a $7 billion takeover offer from rival JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), a source told Reuters at the time.
The Journal said WaMu’s board decided it needed an outsider to signal a fresh start at the thrift.
Fishman, who joined New York-based Meridian in 2007, was earlier president and chief operating officer of Sovereign Bank, the second-largest U.S. savings and loan.
Fishman will receive a $10 million signing bonus, of which $2.5 million is a stock award based on performance, the paper reported. Fishman’s salary will be $1 million, with options to buy 5 million shares, the paper said.
Killinger is expected to retire under the terms of his contract with no extra severance benefits, the Journal reported.
The move comes after senior-level management shakeups at banks such as Citigroup Inc (C.N), Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N and Wachovia Corp WB.N.
Earlier on Sunday, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEH.N announced senior management changes as well, naming Eric Felder and Hyung Soon Lee as global co-heads of fixed income, following the departure of current global head Andrew Morton.
Lehman also appointed Riccardo Banchetti and Christian Meissner co-chief executive officers of Europe and the Middle East, and said Jeremy Isaacs will retire as chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific at the end of the year.
Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Ian Geoghegan