Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fannie Mae CEO to step down

by Sarah Jawaid, National Housing Conference 

Fannie Mae head Michael Williams submitted his resignation Jan. 10. Williams has been with the GSE since 1991 and took over as chief executive in 2009, at the height of the housing crisis and when the company was put into conservatorship by the government. He will stay on as CEO until the company’s board finds a successor.

"I decided the time is right to turn over the reins to a new leader," Williams said in the statement. "As I told our employees today, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and I am confident that they will continue to make a positive difference.”

Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Ed DeMarco said in a statement that he was “grateful for Mr. Williams’ steadfast dedication to ensuring Fannie Mae meets its public mission of providing stability, liquidity, and affordability to housing finance while both leading his company and working with government officials to that end.

This comes after the GSEs and their chief regulator FHFA got heat from Congress on executive salary compensation late last year. Before a congressional hearing, Freddie Mac chief executive Charles E. "Ed" Haldeman, Jr. and Williams were asked to justify executive pay anywhere between $2.8 and $3.5 million for their second-highest-paid staff. In response to these questions, Halderman and Williams said the salaries were an appropriate amount for the industry. Halderman had submitted his resignation last Oct. saying he would step down sometime this year. Read more from earlier on NHC's Open House blog.

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