NEW YORK (
) -- While Robert Benmosche's
may have helped raise
American International Group's
share price, the new CEO may have to tone it down or face rebuke from the board.
Benmosche has talked tough on keeping compensation competitive despite lawmakers' anger over big bonuses at the troubled insurer, which is 80%-owned by taxpayers. He will earn at least $7 million this year, compared with his predecessor, Edward Liddy, who earned a $1 salary and held an accommodating stance toward Congress and regulators.
Benmosche also has reversed plans to sell assets quickly to get out from under the government's thumb, insisting that he will wait for the best prices.
CEO even spent his first week on the job on vacation in Croatia, giving interviews to the media at his palatial home near the beach.
But bruising the ego of government officials might have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
Benmosche said, in a recording leaked to
, that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo doesn't deserve his job. He also called lawmakers "crazies" down in Washington, adding that he'd leave dealings with them up to Chairman Harvey Golub.
Now the board plans to have a sit-down with that crazy in the executive suite, according to a report in the
Wall Street Journal
The paper, citing anonymous sources, said that board members plan to address the matter at a retreat this month. They may tell him to tone it down if he wants to keep his job, the
Golub, who has already spoken to the CEO about his Cuomo remarks, said earlier this week that they weren't thoughtful.
As for Benmosche's take on a potential dressing down from the board? It would be appropriate for them to speak with him about the swagger, Benmosche reportedly told the
. "But the board doesn't have to tell me that. I've already told it to myself," he said.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York
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