AIG head touts meritocracy

NEW YORK: American International Group (AIG) is stressing a message of enhanced internal meritocracy to investors and employees after the company ousted CEO Martin Sullivan.

NEW YORK: American International Group (AIG) is stressing a message of enhanced internal meritocracy to investors and employees after the company ousted CEO Martin Sullivan.

Robert Willumstad, the new CEO of the insurance and financial service provider, said AIG's financial results of late were "not satisfactory," and stressed reevaluation and talent needs in conference calls to employees and investors.

The company has experienced continuous quarterly losses and has lost $20 billion in subprime mortgage-related writedowns.

Nick Ashooh, SVP of communications for AIG, said that the internal meritocracy issue is particularly important for reaching prospective employees.

"Everybody needs to feel like an owner of the company [and we need] to attract and retain the very best people," he said. "The role we play is in reinforcing those themes. If we focus on these two things, [it will] lead to success."

AIG's communications department handles all internal media, like the employee magazine and Web site, as well as external media.

Willumstad told investors Monday morning that he planned to spend time in markets around the world speaking with staff, customers, shareholders, and others to analyze AIG's business strategies and portfolio. He also aims to recruit a new CFO within 60 to 90 days.

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