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AIG Says Koellner to Lead ILFC as CEO Relationship Probed

American International Group Inc. named ex-Boeing Co. executive Laurette T. Koellner to oversee the insurer’s plane-leasing unit, putting her in charge of Henri Courpron after he was investigated over a relationship with an employee.

Courpron’s annual compensation as chief executive officer was cut by $1 million at International Lease Finance Corp., and Koellner was named executive chairman of the unit, New York-based AIG said in a statement today.

“AIG assessed Mr. Courpron’s conduct as contrary to AIG’s expectations of its officers,” the insurer said.

AIG is seeking to prepare Los Angeles-based ILFC for an eventual public offering as the insurer works to raise funds to repay a U.S. bailout. Courpron, 49, a former Airbus SAS manager, was named to lead ILFC in 2010. Two other executives led the unit between the departure of founder Steven Udvar-Hazy in February of that year and Courpron’s arrival.

Courpron and the employee acknowledged they had a voluntary relationship that had ended, the company said. The review followed an anonymous complaint that also alleged that the relationship involved improper use of company assets and inappropriate personnel decisions, according to AIG. Those claims were found to be unsubstantiated after a review conducted with outside counsel, the insurer said.

“I apologize for my mistake and the time-consuming distractions it created,” Courpron said in the statement. “I am committed to keep moving forward with the ILFC team and Laurette.”

‘Right Steps’

Koellner, 57, worked at planemaker Boeing from 1997 through 2008, becoming president of Boeing International. Before that she spent 19 years at McDonnell Douglas Corp., AIG said.

She is stepping down from AIG’s board of directors because she no longer meets the panel’s requirement for independence, the insurer said. As head of ILFC, she’ll report to AIG CEO Robert “Bob” Benmosche.

“We have taken the right steps to affirm AIG’s and ILFC’s commitment to sound conduct in the workplace,” Koellner said in the statement. “The board, Bob, and I are confident in Henri’s leadership at ILFC, and we will work together to assure that ILFC continues to build on its momentum as the largest independent aircraft lessor in the industry.”

Courpron’s annual stock salary was cut by $1 million to $3.43 million, AIG’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources Jeffrey Hurd wrote in a letter that was released as an attachment to a regulatory filing. Courpron agreed to forfeit $500,000 in grants made through the end of this month.

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