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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deven Sharma, S&P president to step down! / Michael J De La Merced, The New York Times / August 22, 2011.


Standard & Poor’s said late on Monday that its president, Deven Sharma, will step down and leave the company by the end of the year. He will be replaced by Douglas Peterson, a top executive at Citigroup.

The decision by Mr. Sharma to resign comes as the ratings agency is under pressure from several fronts, including outrage over its downgrade of the United States’s credit rating; an inquiry by the Justice Department into its ratings of subprime mortgage securities; and a push by activist investors to break up its parent company, McGraw-Hill.

The management change had been in the works for months and was unrelated to either the Justice Department’s inquiry or to the emergence of the activist investors, Jana Partners and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Mr. Sharma, 55, will step down on Sept. 12, but will remain with the company through the end of the year to help oversee McGraw-Hill’s review of its businesses. He had been among S.&P.’s most prominent public faces, including in its voluntary effort to reform the way it assesses credit risk and representing the agency before Congress.

His replacement, Mr. Peterson, 53, is currently the chief operating officer of Citibank, the banking unit of Citigroup.

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