Citi was never an easy ship to take the controls of. Between getting called out by hot babes and recording two consecutive quarterly losses due to suffering billions of dollars in writedowns, its shares have fallen nearly 55% in the last year.
But Vikram, who always appears to be smiling and looking so impishly whimsical, has buckled down and done some serious work. Not all of it sounds great, but it’s work nonetheless.
One of the first piece of business Vik got around to was instituting a new slogan for the Citi brand. Playing off that old clichÃƒÂ© that New York is the city that never sleeps, all commercials for the big bank will now end with ‘Citi. . .never sleeps’.
The Wall Street Journal released an early copy of the new Citi commercials, but DealBreaker’s version feels so much more fitting for the bank everyone is becoming tired of:
The next thing Vik came up with was to aggressively prune Citi’s balance sheets. The Financial Times reports:
Mr Pandit is thought likely to announce up to $15bn in reductions in Citi’s operating expense budget, which stood at $61.5bn at the end of last year.Cuts are expected to come from a radical overhaul of the company’s sprawling information technology systems as well as from job losses.
Aw hell yeah, Vik! Coming in blastin’ with some serious firings, are we? Now who’s smiling, right? Many news sources are predicting that this ‘lightening of the load’ at Citi is the only good route they can go.
But now with all those insomniac slogans, those employees keeping their jobs will have a reason to stay late and work.
FT: Citi to identify $400bn of potential disposals, May 9, 2008
DealBreaker: Citi Never Sleeps: The Ad Campaign, May 7, 2008