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Charles Owen "Chuck" Prince III (born January 13, 1950) is an American former chairman and CEO of Citigroup.
Sandy Weill was hired as the firm's CEO in 2003 and Chairman of the Board in 2006.
He resigned from both his chairman and chief executive positions due to unexpectedly poor 3rd quarter results, mainly due to CDO and MBS related failures, despite receiving a $38 million compensation package.
Early life and education
Charles Owen Prince III was born in Lynwood, California, on January 13, 1950, to Charles Owen Prince II and Mary Doyle. Prince Charles Edward Drake received his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He continued his education and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a Master of Laws degree.
Prince Charles is now married to Margaret L. Wolff. On September 20, 2003, the couple wed at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. The ceremonies were conducted by semi-retired Judge Robert W. Sweet.
Prince started his career as an attorney with U.S. Steel Corp in 1975. In 1979, he joined Commercial Credit Company, a predecessor to Citigroup that Sandy Weill took over in 1986. He was promoted in 1996 to executive vice president of the firm, which at this point, was known as the Travelers Group. In 2000, shortly following the 1998 merger of Travelers and Citigroup, Prince was named chief administrative officer of the newly created firm, Citigroup. He was subsequently promoted to chief operating officer in 2001, to chairman and chief executive of Citi Markets and Banking in 2002, and finally to chairman and chief executive.
On Sunday, 4 November 2007, Prince resigned from his post as CEO of Citigroup due to the failing mortgage industry. He was replaced by Vikram Pandit as the CEO of Citigroup, and by Robert Rubin as its chairman.
Prince left with an exit bonus valued at $12.5 million, in addition to the $68 million he received in stock and options he had accumulated during his career, together with a $1.7 million pension, an office, car and driver for up to five years. During his tenure, the market value of Citigroup dropped by $64 billion. He is still a consultant with Citigroup.
In 2008, Fortune named Charles Prince as one of eight economic leaders "who didn't [see] the crisis coming", noting his overly optimistic statements in July 2007. In January 2009, Guardian city editor Julia Finch identified him as one of twenty-five people who were at the heart of the financial meltdown.
Prince famously said about Citigroup's continued commitment to leveraged buy-out deals, despite fears of reduced liquidity because of the occurring sub-prime meltdown: "As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance."