Snow Named Treasury Secretary

December 9, 2002 ( - President Bush has named John Snow his new Secretary of the Treasury and is expected to name Stephen Friedman to the White House economic adviser position.

Snow joins the position, vacated by Paul O’Neill on Friday , from his job with railroad holding company CSX Corp., where he served as Chief Executive Officer.

This will not be Snow’s first trip to the White House, as he held several senior jobs in the Transportation Department in the 1970’s, including a year of heading up the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Additionally, Snow served this year as a co-Chairman of a Conference Board committee looking into changes of how corporations are governed. Under Snow’s guidance, the committee came up with governance suggestions, including:

  • Boosting the power of compensation committees
  • Reducing “excessive use” of stock options through option expensing
  • Requiring executives to give advance notice of their intent to sell stock

“John Snow has excelled as a business leader, an expert on economic policy, an academic, and as a public servant,” Bush said. “He’ll be a superb member of my cabinet.”

Friedman, who is looked at to assume the role abdicated by Lawrence Lindsey, would join the President’s team from his position as a senior principal of Marsh & McLennan. Prior to that, he headed up Goldman Sachs & Co. with former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin.

The White House may be looking to Friedman to provide a link to the financial markets to build consensus for the President’s economic policies.

President Bush is also looking to fill the Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission and to find a head for the new accounting-standards board.