What Kind of Guy Is New AIG Chairman Steve Miller?

By

Steve Miller, who is replacing Harry Golub as chairman of AIG, oversaw the bankruptcy of Delphi Corp., once the largest U.S. auto-parts supplier, and helped Chrysler return to profitability back in the eighties. But he's “not just an auto guy,” according to auto-industry analyst Maryann Keller. What kind of guy is he?

Bloomberg asked around. Here's what they came up with.

He's an Experienced Business Guy
“He’s a finance guy who has had his share of troubled situations," says Keller. "He’s a pragmatic businessman who knows how to operate in these situations.”

He's a Crafty-Budget Guy
“He is a cost-reduction guy," according to North Carolina–based analyst Clark Troy, but "AIG is not going to be able to cut its way out of this. He’ll have to find a way to leverage the value that remains in AIG.”

He's a Smooth-Talking Political Guy
Since Benmosche obviously can't be trusted not to run his mouth about certain elected officials, Miller will "become a key guy with managing the relationship with Washington," says Troy.

He's a Humble Guy
“Steve is not a big-ego guy," says former General Motors Company CEO Fritz Henderson, who worked with him during the Delphi restructuring. “He is the type of person who can work with Robert Benmosche." And Steve's close friends will go one further than that.

He's a Please-Puncture-My-Nads-With-Your-High-Heels Guy
“He’s just been through so many tough spots and survived,” said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, who has known Miller for more than 30 years. “You could almost say he’s a glutton for punishment, but deep down inside he must love this.”

AIG's `Turnaround Kid' Miller Gets Challenge at Rescued Insurer [Bloomberg]
How can Benmosche be tamed? [Reuters]