GLOBAL - Vikram Pandit, head of institutional clients at America's largest bank Citigroup, has been named as the group's new chief executive, in a bid to restore the company's profitability and reputation.

Pandit will replace Charles Prince, the chairman and CEO whom Citi retired in November following billions of dollars worth of losses directly-linked to the US sub-prime crisis.

Former Schorder chairman Sir Win Bischoff, who has been Citi's acting CEO, will become the new chairman, replacing Robert Rubin, who will return to his previous duties as a member of the Citigroup board of directors and chairman of the executive committee of the board.

The board had tasked a committee, headed by Rubin, to find a new CEO and according to a statement released today, the committee unanimously voted for Pandit.

"I am honoured to become Citi's leader to drive the changes we need," said Pandit.

He added: "Simplifying the company's organisational structure and aligning our businesses and resources with appropriate goals and economic realities will be among our initial priorities."

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