Peter Eliot, Citigroup's country officer and head of its institutional client group in Thailand, is being considered as a possible interim successor to Darren Buckley, the head of Citibank Japan, these people told the newspaper.
Buckley will be reassigned to another post in Asia, the location of which has yet to be decided, the paper said citing the same people.
Della Pietra, Citigroup's general counsel in the Asia Pacific region, may become the chief operating officer of Japan, a newly created position, according to the paper.
No decision had been made yet and plans could still change, the Wall Street Journal said citing the people.
Citigroup has hired the executive search firm Egon Zehnder to help it find a permanent head of its Japanese operations, people familiar with the matter told the paper.
Citigroup declined to comment on Sunday.
The news comes as Japan's Financial Services Agency prepares to issue sanctions against Citigroup. Japan's financial watchdog will likely order the local banking unit of Citigroup to suspend part of its operations for about two weeks as a penalty for allegedly failing to fully explain product risk to customers, the paper said citing a person familiar with the matter.
(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, editing by Maureen Bavdek)