NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Six months after resigning as chairman of American International Group ( AIG) following months of tension, Harvey Golub has come out swinging against the company's CEO and board. In an interview with Bloomberg, the 71-year-old former head of American Express ( AXP) said he believes AIG's restructuring plan is far from over. Instead of allowing AIG to continue as a multifaceted insurer -- as it currently plans to do -- Golub believes the firm should be broken into two separate entities, one offering life insurance and another offering property-casualty insurance. "When it gets broken apart, as I think ultimately it will, both of those pieces may unlock much greater value," Golub said, according to the news agency. Golub also suggested that the board is beholden to CEO Robert Benmosche, without any independence to question his decisions. "Bob has a different view of the role of the board than me," Golub said. "His was that the board should be more supportive and more agreeable, and ours was that it was an independent board to exercise oversight and not just agree." The comments should be taken in context, of course. First, Golub isn't necessarily disputing AIG's restructuring, he's suggesting that there will be more to come. ("Longer-term, AIG shouldn't exist," he told Bloomberg.) Secondly, Golub may be expressing some pent-up frustration about his departure from the board. Golub resigned from AIG in July, following a
high-profile battle with Benmosche. The hard-charging CEO had given the board an ultimatum, saying he would quit if directors didn't fire Golub instead. "Bob Benmosche has informed the Board that he believes our working relationship as Chairman and CEO to be ineffective and unsustainable," Golub said in a statement at the time. "At this point, I view asking the Board to choose between us would be an abdication of my responsibility to lead. Consequently, I'm resigning for the simple reason I believe it is easier to replace a chairman than a CEO -- particularly a company in the midst of two major activities: (1) a major corporate restructuring, and (2) development of an exit plan from government control, both of which involve executing a long list of difficult tasks."
Since then, Golub has largely avoided the spotlight and remained silent. AIG named Steve Miller, a restructuring whiz, as his replacement. It's been known that the two financial heavyweights disagreed over divestiture strategy, particularly in regards to the initial public offering of subsidiary AIA. But it hadn't been clear that their dispute went as far as the basic fundamentals of what the new AIG franchise will be. Under the plan hatched out by Benmosche, AIG will primarily operate as a property and casualty business, under the name Chartis, as well as a life insurance business known as SunAmerica. Since the CEO took over in August 2009, AIG has successfully divested an array of other businesses, most prominently AIA's $20.5 billion offering -- the largest ever on Hong Kong's stock exchange -- as well as the $16 billion sale of Alico to MetLife ( MET). Benmosche has also outlined plans to repay the last of AIG's one-time $182 billion bailout, using divestiture proceeds to repay the Federal Reserve and a massive stock issuance to repay the Treasury Department. Benmosche plans to remain CEO until 2012, to see the plan through. A cancer diagnosis last year seemed to threaten his ability to continue, but this week he announced "an encouraging prognosis" from doctors that indicates he will stay as CEO over the next 12 to 18 months, before re-entering retirement. In a worst-case scenario, Miller is prepared to take over the CEO role on an interim basis. The company is in the process of hunting for a candidate to ultimately succeed Benmosche, either way. In recent trading, AIG shares were down 0.5% at $41.40. -- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Lauren Tara LaCapra. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/laurenlacapra. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.