Sandy Weill, Citigroup's former chairman and chief executive, has acknowledged that the planning that led to the choice of Chuck Prince as his successor in 2003 was flawed and turned out not to be the "right thing" for the company.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Weill said he and the board should have fostered competition among Citi's top managers for the chief executive post rather than handing the job to Mr Prince.
The technique has been used by large companies such as General Electric, which selected Jeffrey Immelt as Jack Welch's successor after a race with two other executives.
Mr Weill did not mention Mr Prince by name but said: "I certainly have responsibility for working with the board in devising a plan of succession and I would not give myself very good grades on that. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing but it did not turn out to be, did it?"