The head of the International Monetary Fund's Europe department resigned suddenly on Wednesday, a year after taking on the crucial role, leaving the fund at a critical time as it grapples with the European financial crisis.
The IMF said in a release that Antonio Borges, who has held the post for roughly a year, is leaving for personal reasons.
The move comes a month after Borges drew criticism by floating the idea that the fund could buy sovereign bonds in private markets to help struggling eurozone economies. He was forced to quickly issue a statement through the IMF headquarters retracting his comments about the idea, which hadn't been backed by the IMF board, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The IMF moved quickly to fill his role.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has informed the executive board of her intention to appoint as Borges's successor Reza Moghadam, currently Director of the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, and as Moghadam's successor Siddharth Tiwari, currently Secretary of the Fund. Moghadam and Tiwari will take up their new duties effective November 17.
The Managing Director made the following statement to the IMF Executive Board:
Antonio Borges has led the European Department during an extremely difficult period for the region's eurozone members. His vast public and private sector, and academic experience, combined with his ability to build strong relationships with member country authorities, have been of great value in responding to the crisis.
I look forward to Reza Moghadam applying to our work in Europe the same strategic vision, drive, and thoughtfulness that he has demonstrated in his previous position. Siddharth Tiwari's remarkable record of performance all across the IMF and his leadership qualities make him exceptionally well qualified to head the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department in these difficult times.
Borges, a Portuguese national who holds a PhD in Economics from Stanford University, was Chairman of the Hedge Fund Standards Board in London prior to joining the IMF. Before that, he served as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International in London from 2000-08. From 1993-2000, he was a professor of Economics and Dean of the Business School at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, and between 1990-93 was Deputy Governor of the Banco de Portugal. He has been a visiting professor of economics at the New University of Lisbon, Stanford University, and Portuguese Catholic University.