Willumstad replaces Jamie Dimon, who was ousted by his former mentor, Citigroup Chairman and Chief Executive Sandy Weill, in late 1998.
According to a Reuters report, the appointment has spawned rumors that Willumstad may succeed Weill, who announced in 2000 that he plans to find a successor within two years, in light of his own retirement plans.
Willumstad, who will retain his role as chairman and CEO of the consumer group, currently oversees the banking giant’s North American credit cards, mortgage banking and consumer finance operations.
While remaining a member of the company’s management committee, he will also take responsibility for the company’s financial and human resources operations.
Willumstad previously served as chairman and CEO of Travelers Group Consumer Finance Services before the merger of Citibank and Travelers Group.