Bloomberg reports that Harvey Pitt has finally thrown in the towel and resigned as Chairman of the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Former New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, is thought to be a front-runner to take on the role.
Pitt has been under fire recently for sanctioning the hire of former FBI and CIA Director, William Webster, to head a new audit oversight board. It subsequently emerged that Webster was head of the audit panel of US Technologies, a company which has itself been accused of fraud. Pitt had previously been criticised for a meeting he had with KPMG chairman Eugene O'Kelly at a time when the accounting firm was under SEC investigation over its audit of Xerox.
President Bush accepted Pitt's resignation early Wednesday. He will stay in place until a successor is found. Pitt said in his resignation letter: 'Unfortunately, the turmoil surrounding my chairmanship and the agency makes it very difficult for the commissioners and dedicated SEC staff to perform their critical assignments....Rather than be a burden to you or the agency, I feel it is in everyone's best interest if I step aside'.
Giuliani is currently top of the list to take over from Pitt and is seen as just the kind of man of integrity needed to take on the job. The smart money is also on Webster stepping down from his new role in the next few days.