AIG CEO Benmosche Wants to Extend His Stay: Report

American International Group’s CEO Robert Benmosche recently told the board directors that he wants to stay in his job longer than previously planned, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that Benmosche signaled he is “in for the long haul” after weak markets slowed the government’s exit from the bailed-out insurer. The Treasury Department still owns about 77 percent of the company.

Benmosche said he plans to run AIG beyond 2012, his health permitting, according to the report. The 67-year-old executive was diagnosed with cancer in late 2010 and previously indicated that he planned to return to retirement in 2012.

“I’ve talked to the board and said that if I stay healthy — and I’m still hopeful — I would like to stay on for another year,” he told the Journal. “I want to stay active and energized, and having too much time on my hands is not healthy, I think.”

Benmosche took the helm at AIG in August 2009. He previously was CEO of MetLife from 1998 until 2006 when he first retired. Many credit him with turning AIG around and selling assets to help repay its government bailout, the report said.

AIG’s board doesn’t have to formally approve Benmosche’s decision to stay longer, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. government sold off some of its AIG shares early this year. But since then the stock has been falling, down as much as 50 percent compared to one year ago. Currently it is trading at around $24 per share. The Treasury would need to get at least $28.73 per share to break even from its investment.