Former Northwest Airlines CEO Steenland Named AIG Chairman

By | April 16, 2015

American International Group Inc. named Douglas M. Steenland as the insurer’s seventh chairman since 2005, replacing Steve Miller who oversaw the promotion of Peter Hancock to chief executive officer last year.

Steenland, the former CEO of Northwest Airlines Corp., will become chairman effective July 1, the New York-based insurer said Thursday in a statement. Miller, who joined the AIG board with Steenland in 2009, will remain a director and is limiting his role because of a guideline that a person shouldn’t be AIG chairman for more than five years, the company said.

Steenland, 63, will work with Hancock as AIG works to generate capital for share buybacks and the repurchase of high- cost debt. The company, which repaid a $182.3 billion government bailout in 2012, is preparing for greater Federal Reserve oversight after being designated as systemically important financial institution by a U.S. panel.

“We remain committed to an AIG that is transparent, well- managed, and valued by all of its stakeholders, and it is in that spirit that I deeply appreciate the opportunity to succeed Steve,” Steenland said in the statement.

Steenland was also named in 2009 as chairman of International Lease Finance Corp., the airplane-leasing company that was owned at the time by AIG. Managers at that business worked to reduce debt at ILFC, before it was sold last year to AerCap Holdings NV.

Miller, who titled his autobiography “The Turnaround Kid” after a career spent helping hobbled companies survive, brought stability to an AIG board that had been known for turnover. In 2010, he replaced Harvey Golub, who stepped down after a dispute with then-CEO Robert Benmosche.

Greenberg, Liddy

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was chairman and CEO before stepping down in 2005 amid regulatory probes. Frank Zarb and then Robert Willumstad became chairman. Willumstad later became CEO, too, and was forced out of both jobs by the U.S. after AIG agreed to the federal bailout in 2008.

Edward Liddy held both posts until August 2009, and said when he stepped down that the duties should be split. Liddy was replaced as CEO by Benmosche and as chairman by Golub.

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