Fannie Mae CEO Williams to step down
Fannie Mae Chief Executive Michael Williams will resign from his post. The government-sponsored enterprise said in a statement that Williams will stay on as CEO until the company's board of directors chooses a successor. He joined Fannie in 1991. Williams became head of the mortgage giant in 2009, the year after the government placed the company into conservatorship. "I decided the time is right to turn over the reins to a new leader," Williams said in the statement. "As I told our employees today, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and I am confident that they will continue to make a positive difference.” Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Ed DeMarco said Williams' leadership "was instrumental in guiding Fannie Mae" into conservatorship. "As conservator, I am grateful for Mr. Williams’ steadfast dedication to ensuring Fannie Mae meets its public mission of providing stability, liquidity, and affordability to housing finance while both leading his company and working with government officials to that end," DeMarco said in a statement. DeMarco said the FHFA will work with Fannie's board of directors in the search for a new CEO. With Williams' departure, both heads of the GSEs will step down in 2012. Freddie Mac CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman said in October he would leave his post sometime this year. Congress scrutinized the executive-compensation packages of the GSE heads in a November hearing, during which Williams and Haldeman testified. Haldeman said salaries must remain competitive with the private sector, and Williams said he lost five senior vice presidents in three years to higher paying jobs. "These are challenging jobs and challenging circumstances, and we need people to do these jobs," Williams said at the hearing. The House Financial Services Committee voted in November to suspend executive bonuses and pay GSE employees the same as federal regulators. The House has yet to vote on the bill, H.R. 1221. The top 10 executives at Fannie and Freddie made nearly $13 million in performance bonuses in 2010. Williams and Haldeman each made roughly $2.3 million in bonuses, according to financial filings. Write to Andrew Scoggin. Follow on him on Twitter @ascoggin.