The New York Post and New York Times are reporting that one of the reasons that Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince ousted the head of its wealth management business was that he didn’t like the fact that Todd Thomson shuttled personal friends, including CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo, around on the corporate jet.
The Post story stated, “Sources said that Thomson, whose unit was a financial success story inside the firm, had been warned about his high-flying ways – but that the tipping point came when Bartiromo joined him on the Citi corporate jet between New York and Beijing last year.
“A CNBC spokesman later said: ‘Maria sought and received approval in advance to fly to Asia on Citi’s jet. Billing was handled between CNBC’s corporate parent and Citi.’
“Bartiromo, reached via e-mail in Davos, Switzerland, said any connection to Thomson’s departure was ‘flat-out wrong.’
“Thomson, who the firm said left to ‘pursue other interests,’ couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday. Not long ago, he was considered among the front-runners to succeed Prince and was even moved into his current job to be groomed for a run at the CEO post.”