Citigroup Inc. announced Friday that Citi President and CEO of Consumer Banking Jane Fraser will be taking the place of retiring CEO Michael Corbat. The move marks the first of its kind, making Fraser the first female head of a major US bank. Corbat, who has been with the company for 37 years and headed it since 2012, will step down in February of 2021. Fraser, who has been with Citi for 16 years, is now #32 on Forbes list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and was American Banker‘s “Number 1 Woman to Watch” for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015.
“I will do everything I can to make all of our stakeholders proud of our firm as we continue to build a better bank and improve our returns…Citi is an incredible institution with a proud history and a bright future. I am excited to join with my colleagues in writing the next chapter.”Jane Fraser, future CEO of Citigroup
One progressive scholar expressed her hope that the move would continue to close what she believes to be a gender pay gap in the industry:
“Women’s leadership is having a long-awaited moment…[Fraser’s] appointment will prove meaningful to the financial sector and have a rippling effect, perhaps paving the way for other women to lead in similar ways.”C. Nicole Mason, intersectional researcher and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Beth Mooney, the former chief executive of KeyCorp, stated, “I always hoped that by the time I retired that there would be other women in CEO roles. What an incredibly proud day this is.” Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America, also congratulated Fraser on the “fantastic moment.” However, Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo expressed skepticism: “She is an unknown entity to the street. For that reason, it is unclear whether she has what it takes to lead such a firm, and whether Citi should have looked externally.”
Axios news wrote that Fraser, a mother of two, “epitomizes a work-life balance problem.” When asked about the juggling act of personal and work life over the years, Fraser stated, “You cannot have it all. Many things have had to give, personally and professionally.”