The president of Standard & Poor's, Deven Sharma, is stepping down, just a few weeks after the ratings firm issued a controversial downgrade of U.S. government debt, the Financial Times reported.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the FT said Sharma would be replaced by Douglas Peterson, chief operating officer of Citibank, the banking unit of Citigroup.

The report said sources said Sharma's departure was unrelated to the downgrade or reports that S&P is being investigated by the justice department in connection with its ratings of dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole)