Former CEO denies that he started AIG bonuses

  • Updated: March 20, 2009 - 8:19 PM

Former AIG chief executive officer Hank Greenberg said the company under his leadership never had the kind of retention bonus system that has subjected it to withering criticism. Here's a look at what Greenberg -- who has since sued AIG, saying the company that he led for 38 years misled investors and ruined his fortune by lying about its financial health -- told CBS' "The Early Show" on Friday.

About the retention bonus contracts: "When I was there, nobody had a contract with the company, including me. If you didn't do the job, you didn't deserve to be there. We had a bonus plan based on performance."

About whether he would have paid out the $165 million in retention bonuses: "Absolutely not."

About whether he accepted any responsibility for mistakes made at AIG while he ran the company: "Absolutely not. It was the greatest company in history. In the insurance industry, there wasn't anything like it."

About whether AIG managers are guilty of anything criminal: "I think it's stupidity."

About current CEO Edward Liddy's qualifications: "I think he should be replaced. You can call it what you want."

The response from AIG spokesman Mark Herr: "Mr. Greenberg is again trying to re-write history in order to distance himself from the Financial Products group he personally created and oversaw. The fact is that, under his watch, guaranteed compensation arrangements for (Financial Products group) employees were put in place."

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