NATIONAL BRIEFING

Richard D. Parsons also served as an economic adviser to President Obama's transition team.
Richard D. Parsons also served as an economic adviser to President Obama's transition team. (By Stephen J. Carrera -- Associated Press)
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

BANKING

Citi Taps Parsons as Chairman

Citigroup is replacing its chairman with long-time board member Richard D. Parsons, marking a larger-scale overhaul of a board many investors blame for the bank's problems.

Parsons, the former chief executive of Time Warner, succeeds Win Bischoff, who became chairman in December 2007 after the departure of embattled chairman and chief executive Charles Prince. The move is effective Feb. 23.

Bischoff, who has been at Citigroup since 2000, will retire later this year, the bank said. Long-time board member Robert E. Rubin, a former Treasury secretary, announced his retirement from Citigroup earlier this month.

The bank has suffered five straight quarters of losses and received $45 billion in government aid as it struggles to stay afloat amid the credit crisis. Last week, the company said it would reorganize into two units -- effectively breaking up the "supermarket" model it has been trying to make work over the past decade -- as it reported a fourth-quarter loss of $8.29 billion.

Parsons is one of the few Citi directors with experience in both banking and leading a large company. Before joining Time Warner, Parsons was chief executive and chairman of Dime Bancorp, a thrift bank, in the early 1990s.

LEGAL

Skilling Appeals Conviction Again

Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling appealed a court decision upholding his convictions for leading the fraud that destroyed the world's largest energy trader.

Skilling's attorneys asked all 16 judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans to hear his appeal, which a three-judge panel denied Jan. 6.

His attorneys argued that the Jan. 6 ruling was inconsistent with the court's decisions in other Enron-related cases. In those cases, his attorneys said, judges ruled that executives couldn't be found guilty of depriving Enron of their so-called honest services because they acted in the company's best interest, at the request of superiors and without personal profit. The three-judge panel found that Skilling was guilty of so-called honest-services theft because he directed the fraud.

RETAIL

Best Buy's CEO to Retire

Best Buy, the world's largest electronics retailer, said chief executive Brad Anderson will retire in June and be replaced by operating chief Brian Dunn. The news came less than a week after its main rival, Circuit City, began liquidating assets.


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