Citigroup CEO Steps Down Vikram Pandit, COO John Havens out; Michael Corbat to take over By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Oct 16, 2012 7:57 AM CDT 5 comments Comments In this Nov. 7, 2011, file photo, Vikram Pandit, CEO of CitiGroup, speaks at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual meeting in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Newser) – Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit is leaving his post effective immediately, to be replaced by the bank's Europe, Middle East, and Africa head, Michael Corbat, Reuters reports. Chief operating officer John Havens is also stepping down, notes the AP. "Now is the right time for someone else to take the helm at Citigroup," says Pandit, saying that the firm "emerged from the financial crisis as a strong institution," and that he is confident in Corbat's ability to take over. "We respect Vikram's decision," Chairman Michael O'Neill said, while praising Corbat's "outstanding leadership qualities." The move is surprising, the New York Times observes, because it comes just a day after Citigroup reported better-than-expected third-quarter results. Pandit has been CEO since just before the 2008 crash, meaning he presided over a particularly tumultuous chapter in the megabank's history.