Freddie Mac ( FRE) finance chief Martin F. Baumann resigned.The company said operating chief Eugene McQuade will take over while the company searches for a replacement. The reason for Baumann's departure wasn't given. The news comes as the McLean, Va., government-sponsored mortgage company continues to struggle with its financials. Freddie said earlier this month that its objective for 2006 is to return to quarterly reporting and file timely, GAAP-compliant, monthly capital reports with its primary regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, by year-end. Like its sibling Fannie Mae ( FNM), Freddie has been hit in recent years by accounting problems that led to big management changes. Freddie is due to release 2005 results in May. The company said Baumann's departure won't affect that timeline. "Marty Baumann has been a key contributor to the turnaround currently underway at Freddie Mac," said CEO Richard Syron. "Since joining the company in 2003, Marty has helped Freddie Mac complete its earnings restatement, release its 2003 and 2004 financial results on an improving timeline, develop a talented and dedicated accounting policy team, resolve an extraordinary number of accounting policy issues, and improve the transparency of the financial data we provide to investors. Marty has also been a valuable member of our management team. On behalf of Freddie Mac, I want to thank Marty for his tireless service and wish him well." "We have made great progress over the past three years, including completing the restatement of prior years' earnings and rebuilding the company's accounting policy function," Baumann said. "This was challenging work, and we accomplished a great deal. I am equally proud of the dedicated and talented team we have assembled to help guide the Finance function into the future." The company said it will hold its quarterly market update call next week. There management will discuss the company's business and preliminary financial performance for 2005 and its expected financial reporting schedule and business outlook for 2006.
Baumann joined Freddie Mac in March 2003 as the company's executive vice president for finance with responsibility for accounting, corporate planning, taxation and capital management. He was named chief financial officer in June 2003. The news comes just two weeks after Freddie hired James R. Egan as controller and principal accounting officer. He was to report directly to Baumann. Egan was controller for MBNA America Bank. On Wednesday, Freddie fell 45 cents to $64.