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Just who would succeed Sandy Weill, anyway?

Let's start with a simple acknowledgment: Sandy Weill is irreplaceable.

Let's start with a simple acknowledgment: Sandy Weill is irreplaceable. But with his Citi-group all over the news these days as it tries to negotiate a settlement with regulators over its research practices, analysts and journalists alike have begun speculating over who might one day succeed him as CEO. Weill himself has seen his name dragged into the scandal because of rumors that he once pushed fallen analyst Jack Grubman to upgrade AT&T to win a stock underwriting mandate. (Weill and Citi have publicly denied these reports.) Two years ago the Citi board of directors formed a committee to prepare a succession plan, but to date no details have been revealed. Many observers think that's because the 69-year-old Weill has no intention of leaving. That leaves outsiders to speculate on possible successors. Here are some possible names and the odds they'll get the job.

NAME, TITLE, FIRMODDSCOMMENT
Bob Rubin, Chmn, Citi's exec. committeeEVENIt's his job if he wants it, but it's doubtful he does. More likely, he's an interim chairman to help select the successor.
Tom Jones, Head, Citi Asset Mgmt10-to-1The accession of this former Cornell-University- protest-leader-turned-brilliant-manager would make his and Sandy's alma mater proud.
Chuck Prince, Head, Citi Global Corp. and Inv. Bank10-to-1Will this prince be crowned king, especially since he's just lost half of his empire -- the Smith Barney retail brokerage business -- to Sallie Krawcheck?
Bob Willumstad, Head, Citi Global Consumer Group12-to-1Sandy and the board already had the chance to anoint him successor when they named him president in January.
Sir Deryck Maughan, CEO, Citi Int'l12-to-1This ultimate corporate survivor is often underestimated but finds his way to the inner circle.
Jim Johnson, Former CEO, Fannie Mae14-to-1He would bring political savvy to a citadel under siege. Citi's executive committee would soon resemble the bipartisan cabinet of a coalition government.
John Thain and John Thornton, Co-presidents, Goldman Sachs15-to-1Pals of Rubin's from his Goldman days. Thornton sits beside Rubin on the Ford Motor Co. board. Could either John bear to part with the other?
Dick Kovacevich, CEO, Wells Fargo15-to-1Former Citi CEO John Reed should never have let this banking whiz get away.
George Schaefer, CEO, Fifth Third Bancorp15-to-1It's a long way from Cincinnati and a giant step up in size, but this tightfisted ex­army ranger is banking's best-kept secret.
Jamie Dimon, CEO, Bank One20-to-1One way or another Sandy's prodigal son returns to New York; it's either this or he tries to buy J.P. Morgan or Merrill Lynch.
Frank Zarb, Former chairman, Nasdaq45-to-1Sandy's old partner is footloose since he left Nasdaq. He loves a tough challenge -- and the spotlight.
Hank Greenberg, CEO, AIG50-to-1The CEO Sandy most admires is 77 but with twice the energy of a man half his age, he's capable of running both companies.
Sallie Krawcheck, Head, Citi's Smith Barney unit100-to-1This fast-rising star knows the business of Wall Street as well as anyone but needs to spend more than a year in a job before she moves up again.
Jessica Bibliowicz, CEO, Nat'l Financial Partners200-to-1Sandy would love to pass the baton to his daughter, and stranger things have happened.