The story of former CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg's reign and swift downfall at American International Group has yet to be fully told. The following story from the Friday, April 1, 2005 edition of the Wall Street Journal is a start. This is an excellent article written by Monica Langley, a staff reporter of The Wall Street Journal.
For those that do not have access to the full version of the article carriend via on-line version of The Wall Street Journal, let me highlight several of the more prominant paragraphs. These include:
Palace Coup, After a 37-Year Reign at AIG, Chief's Last Tumultuous Days, Faced With Indictment Threat, Directors Move Quickly Against Mr. Greenberg
By MONICA LANGLEY, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 1, 2005; Page A1
[...] The showdown set in motion a frantic 48 hours that ended Monday [March 28, 2005] with Mr. Greenberg's abrupt resignation as AIG's longtime chairman. Before it had ended, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer told AIG lawyers he was dismayed over what he called the "document caper," according to people familiar with the matter.
"As long as Hank's still the chairman, AIG is still accountable," Mr. Spitzer told AIG's outside lawyers on the phone Saturday night from his Colorado skiing vacation, these people say. "You have serious criminal exposure." Then, according to these people, Mr. Spitzer issued the ultimate threat: His office would indict AIG on Monday [Maarch 28th] if action wasn't taken.
No financial firm has ever survived a corporate indictment. Some of AIG's independent directors argued Mr. Greenberg had to go immediately in order to protect the company, according to those familiar with the situation. They had essentially already taken control of the company because of the sweeping regulatory probe into whether AIG bolstered its financial condition with improper accounting.