BALTIMORE (AP) â¿¿ Legg Mason's chairman and CEO, Mark Fetting, who guided the money manager through difficult years during and after the financial crisis, will step down Oct. 1. The asset management company said Tuesday that Joseph Sullivan, Legg Mason Inc.'s head of global distribution, will become interim chief executive as it searches for a new CEO. The company's lead independent director, W. Allen Reed, will become non-executive chairman Fetting will remain as a consultant to the Baltimore-based company through the end of the year. He became CEO in January 2008 and was named chairman that December. Like many money managers, Legg Mason has navigated rocky territory in the wake of the recession as Americans pull billions from U.S. stock funds nearly every month. In July, Legg Mason posted its first quarterly loss in three years as it paid charges to lighten its debt and investment fees fell. Its revenue has yet to return to levels from before the 2008 financial crisis. The company's board has formed a search committee that will look at company executives and outside candidates in the search for a new CEO. It will hire an executive search firm to help with the process. Sullivan was named as the company's head of global distribution in 2010, after serving as its chief administrative officer since 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience in investment management and capital markets, the company said. Reed, who has been a director since 2006, is the former CEO of General Motors Asset Management Corp., which had been the automaker's investment-management arm.