Ex-Citi AI COO Named White House Chief Of Staff

Jan 10 2012 | 12:06pm ET

President Barack Obama has named the a former Citigroup hedge fund executive to serve as a White House chief of staff, after the incumbent abruptly resigned yesterday.

Jacob Lew will take the reins at the White House at the end of the month. He is currently director of the Office of Management and Budget, a job Obama nominated him to a year-and-a-half ago. But prior to returning to the White House—Lew served a director of OMB under President Bill Clinton and had been deputy secretary for management and resources at the State Department during the first year-and-a-half of Obama's term—Lew was chief operating officer of Citi Alternative Investments, from 2006 through 2009.

"Jack has had one of the other most difficult jobs in Washington," Obama said yesterday. "His economic advice was invaluable. He has my complete trust."

Lew takes over from William Daley, who took the job just one year ago, after his predecessor, Rahm Emmanuel, resigned to run for mayor of Chicago. Like Lew, Daley has both Washington and Wall Street experience, having served as Clinton's commerce secretary. He is the son of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the brother of Emmanuel's predecessor in that office, also named Richard. Prior to joining the White House, Daley was chairman of JPMorgan Chase's Midwestern operations, but before joining the bank in 2004, he spent about nine months at alternatives firm and boutique investment bank Evercore Partners.

Despite hopes that his financial background would help the White House mend fences with Congressional Republicans and Wall Street, Daley never found his footing as chief of staff and is widely blamed for contributing to Obama's sinking approval ratings. In the fall, he handed most of his day-to-day responsibilities to senior adviser Pete Rouse.


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