Industry News

Mozilo to stay as Countrywide CEO through 2009

Company's founder had once planned to retire this year

Countrywide Financial Corp. has reached agreement with chairman and chief executive officer Angelo R. Mozilo in which he will continue in that role through 2009. Mozilo co-founded Countrywide in 1969, which has become the nation's biggest mortgage lender and a diversified financial services company with a market capitalization of more than $20 billion and 55,000 employees. During the past decade, Countywide's net earnings have grown at a compounded annual rate of 29 percent, and the company's stock price has gone up 600 percent, compared with 106 percent for the Standard and Poor's 500, the company said. Mozilo had once planned to retire when he turned 68 this year, but said in September he had been been working with Countrywide's board for several months to continue as CEO. Although Countrywide has been enormously profitable, some shareholders have objected to Mozilo's pay and bonuses as excessive. In June, a group of shareholders led by a pension fund for unionized state and local ...