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The new CEO of Freddie Mac, Donald Layton, who begins his role on May 21, says he expects to sometimes be the focus of intense scrutiny. However, he says he is "willing to take a little heat in order to fix the kitchen."
Layton, who has not yet moved to Washington, D.C., where Freddie is based, spoke to HousingWire from New York City.
Layton will assume leadership of Freddie Mac after a long career in banking and financial services. He worked for nearly 30 years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors, starting as a trainee and rising to vice chairman and a member of the three-person Office of the Chairman, retiring in 2004.
Layton is replacing another financial veteran, CEO Charles 'Ed' Haldeman, and intends to continue to fulfill Haldeman's vision for the government-sponsored enterprise. Haldeman announced he was stepping down in October but agreed to stay on until a successor was named.
Layton said he fully anticipates that things may progress slowly at first.
"I tend to be a fast-mover," he said, adding that operations at Freddie are a hybrid of corporate and government business models. "The company is a for-profit, but it's also a not-for-profit, so I have to go in with an open mind on issues and not any pre-conceived notions."
Layton added that he is not going to come at the position as a corporate CEO and acknowledges that cooperation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency will remain vital. Furthermore he remains committed to serving the interests of the American taxpayer.
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