Someone taking the CFO job at a financial firm often has his or her eye on becoming the CEO down the road or on another top job within the company. And when that doesn't happen, it often is time to hit the road.

Indeed, when Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince promoted Krawcheck, most saw it as way of grooming the former hot-shot stock analyst for a bigger and better post at Citigroup. But in the past year, she has become the main lightning rod for criticism of Citigroup's middling financial performance.

People familiar with Citigroup say Krawcheck is still thought well of within the bank. But the heat she drew as CFO may have dimmed her star -- at least for the moment. Some say they wouldn't be surprised if Krawcheck eventually packed her bags.

"In other companies, being a CFO is an end to itself," says Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer for Solaris Asset Management. "But at a financial company, it's often a grooming position. The perception is it's a bit of a revolving door."

When de Molina stepped down from BofA, he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the job of CFO was a "little less fun." Bank officials also said the former CFO had expressed an interest in running his own company.

Of course, it wasn't always that way. Dina Dublon, once one of the highest-ranking female executives on Wall Street, served as JPMorgan Chase's ( JPM) CFO for six years before retiring in 2004.

Today, for a bank CFO, that's almost an eternity.

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