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Could Citigroup's Pandit Be Next?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The ouster of Alvaro de Molina from the CEO slot at GMAC Financial Services earlier this week by a board reportedly frustrated with the pace of the company's recovery begs the question: Is Citigroup's (C - Get Report) CEO Vikram Pandit next?

With rivals like JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and large regional banks such as U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) clearly closer to business as usual than survival mode, pressure is mounting on TARP-laden financial institutions like Citi and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), who are both still dealing with fallout from the financial crisis, to right the ship.

Citi's board is "probably grumbling," says Carter Burgess, a managing director and head of the board recruiting practice at RSR Partners. "I wouldn't doubt there is impatience because everyone feels like [their] reputation is at stake to get this thing right."

But there is only so much that Pandit, who has spent two years at the helm, and his team can do at once, Burgess says.

"They would love to pay back TARP tomorrow but they can't," he says. "Everybody thinks two years is enough to do anything. It's such a mess it may take five years. He is under the pressure to get it done tomorrow."

"They got to stick with this guy unless they bring one of their new directors out of retirement, which I don't think they will," he adds.

Citi, which as received $45 billion from the U.S. government, has been unwinding its non-core assets and businesses, which are now housed in its Citi Holdings portfolio. While the company has made substantial progress, including the recent decision to sell shares to the public of its insurance subsidiary Primerica, it still has a ways to go.
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