Jessica Menton, USA TODAY
Published 9:59 a.m. ET Sept. 10, 2020 | Updated 1:54 p.m. ET Sept. 10, 2020
The U.S. economy just had its worse performance ever as businesses shut down across the country as well as much travel decline.
Jane Fraser is set to become the first woman ever to lead a mega Wall Street bank, succeeding Michael Corbat as Citigroup chief executive when he retires in February following eight years at the helm of the firm.
Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, was in the process of a management overhaul. Fraser, 53, is currently president of Citi and the CEO of Global Consumer Banking, a major part of the bank that includes checking and savings accounts but also Citi’s massive credit card business. She has been in that role since 2019 and has been at the firm for 16 years.
“We believe Jane is the right person to build on Mike’s record and take Citi to the next level. She has deep experience across our lines of business and regions and we are highly confident in her,” John Dugan, chair of the board of directors at Citigroup, said in a statement.
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Fraser will be the first woman to lead one of Wall Street’s big six banks. JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon has had women as his second-in-command for years, but shows no signs of stepping down from the CEO role.
Female CEOs remain scarce at the biggest publicly traded companies. In 2020, the number of women running Fortune 500 companies hit a record 37, representing just 7.4% of the top spots, according to Fortune. That’s up from 33 last year and only two 20 years ago.
And nearly all are white. Just three of this year’s Fortune 500 female CEOs are women of color, including Lisa Su, CEO of Advanced Micro Devices; Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap; and Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China.
Among women at the helm of some of the top companies this year are Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors; Debra Cafaro, CEO of real estate investment trust Ventas; and Carol Tomé, CEO of UPS.
Corbat led Citigroup for eight years, rebuilding the company after it nearly collapsed during the Great Recession and 2008 financial crisis. The federal government had to step in to buy a stake in Citi to keep it afloat, and the New York bank had some of the most toxic assets of all the major banks during that time.
Corbat turned Citi into a much smaller and stable entity, focusing on its credit card businesses and its international banking franchise.
“I have worked with Jane for many years and am proud to have her succeed me,” Corbat said in a statement. “With her leadership, experience and values, I know she will make an outstanding CEO.”