Bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc (AIG) named former Prudential plc Chief Executive Mark Tucker as head of its Asia life insurance business, AIA, replacing existing boss Mark Wilson.
AIG said in a statement on Monday that it would also seek to list American International Assurance Co Ltd (AIA) on the Hong Kong stock exchange, subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions.
AIG gave no explanation for ousting Wilson, who was well regarded within AIA.
After reviewing various options to monetize AIA's substantial value, we have concluded that an IPO is our best option, Robert H. Benmosche, AIG Chief Executive Officer said in a statement.
Mark Tucker has the public company experience, track record, relationships...that will help us accomplish our ambitious goals of not just taking a company of AIA's size and scope public, but building on this great platform for the long term to create Asia's pre-eminent, publicly traded insurance company, he added.
Wilson's ouster also comes less than a week after AIG's Chairman Harvey Golub resigned over a disagreement with Benmosche.
The move is the latest sign that Benmosche is asserting his authority at AIG, which is nearly 80 percent-owned by the U.S. government. The board room battle at AIG intensified after British insurer Prudential's plc $35.5 billion bid for AIA collapsed last month.
Wilson, who was instrumental in holding AIA together when AIG was on the brink of collapse, had reportedly threatened to resign if Prudential's acquisition had gone ahead. That put him in odds with the AIG management.
AIA is already functioning without a chief financial officer and a chief legal counsel, and the company has installed a new CEO just months before a massive IPO.
Bankers have previously told Reuters that AIA could raise $15 billion through an IPO, which is expected before the end of 2010.
(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)