Deven Sharma, president of tainted credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s, has been out-graded (take that neologism, schmucks).
Sharma, 55, is stepping down as head of the firm effective September 12 but will remain an adviser of the parent company until the end of the year.
The official reason cited for Sharma’s departure is that he “was ready for new challenges.”
But we suspect Standard & Poor’s decision on the leadership change today is the outcome of pressure from the Obama administration.
Citibank’s Chief Operating Officer Douglas Peterson will succeed Sharma as the new president.
Standard & Poor’s has come under fire after it recently downgraded America’s long-term federal debt credit rating to AA+, a notch below the top grade of AAA.
In its statement accompanying the downgrade, Stand & Poor’s said August 5:
The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenge.
The downgrade was a severe blow to America’s standing and sent ripples through world financial markets.
The Obama administration did not mince words in severely criticizing Standard & Poor’s for the downgrade.
U.S. Treasury department officials insisted Standard & Poor’s had overstated the federal debt by $2 trillion.
The New York Times recently reported that the Justice Department is investigating Standard & Poor’s rating of mortgage securities before the financial crash.
Deven Sharma – BIT Alumnus
An alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology in India, Sharma joined Standard & Poor’s, a division of McGraw Hill in 2002. He was named president in 2007.
Sharma also holds a a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in business management from Ohio State University.
Before joining Standard & Poor’s, Sharma was a partner at management consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, he worked at manufacturing firms Dresser Industries and Anderson Strathclyde.
Deven Sharma to Head Tainted Standard & Poor’s