Countrywide officials did not return a call seeking comment. This is the second demand for Mozilo’s firing in a week. On Saturday, The Associated Press reported that a pension plan that owns Countrywide shares also called for Mozilo’s dismissal. Washington, D.C.-based American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has about 1.4 million members, asked the board to replace Mozilo with two independent directors. That demand came in a six-page letter sent to the company late Thursday. It also wants Countrywide to replace its executive compensation committee with people who have not played a role in the committee’s actions. CtW also said Mozilo has been “grossly” overpaid during his tenure and noted he netted over $300 million in recent years through his stock sales. “Mr. Mozilo’s compensation is far out of line with his peers in the financial services industry,” the company’s letter said. For example, last year he received a total compensation package of more than $48 million. In comparison, CEOs of much larger financial institutions such as Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase were paid $28 million, $26 million and $39 million, respectively. And in a Forbes 2007 report on CEO compensation, Mozilo ranked seventh in the country in total compensation for 2006. “As if this compensation package weren’t harmful enough to shareholders, Mozilo, apparently sensing the imminent collapse of Countrywide’s share price, has engaged in massive sales of company shares while the stock price was inflated,” Patterson wrote in his letter. The two letters to Countrywide’s board are the latest shots at the company and its founder by shareholders angered by the stock slide. Per Olstad, an attorney with CtW, said Countrywide stock has lost about 60 percent of its value since January. The company’s stock closed Monday at $15.68, up 45 cents, or 2.45 percent. But that is well off the 52-week high of $45.26 reached Jan. 26 and just 68 cents off the 52-week low of Aug. 16. The company also has been the target of shareholder lawsuits claiming it has misrepresented its financial condition. And two weeks ago North Carolina’s state treasurer asked for an SEC probe of Mozilo’s stock sales. With the Countrywide board’s approval, Mozilo has been trading shares under terms of what is known as 10b5-1 trading plans. The criticism came because those plans were changed several times in late 2006 and early 2007 to increase the number of shares he could sell each month. Countrywide reports third quarter earnings Friday and already has said it expects to take a pre-tax charge of $125 million to $150 million stemming from its plan to slash thousands of jobs amid rising mortgage defaults and foreclosures. Countrywide said in early September it would cut up to 12,000 jobs, or about 20percent of its work force. As far as Patterson is concerned, it all means Mozilo has lost control of the company. “While Mr. Mozilo played an instrumental role in building Countrywide into the nation’s largest mortgage lender,” he wrote, “he has failed to provide leadership as the company attempts to navigate its way.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The latest demand came from Washington, D.C.-based CtW Investment Group, which works with pension funds sponsored by unions that hold about 3.5million shares of Countrywide stock. CtW stated its case in a letter to Harley W. Snyder, Countrywide’s lead director. “We call upon the Countrywide Board of Directors to immediately secure the resignation of Angelo Mozilo, the company’s chairman and CEO,” wrote William Patterson, CtW’s executive director. It also chided Mozilo for selling huge amounts of Countrywide stock as the crisis at the Calabasas-based company deepened and noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into those transactions. “His continued presence is a distraction and an impediment to Countrywide’s recovery,” the letter said. REAL ESTATE: Investors want the Countrywide CEO fired because of the firm’s woes and his stock sales. By Gregory J. Wilcox STAFF WRITER CALABASAS – Pressure built Monday for Angelo Mozilo’s ouster as the head of Countrywide Financial Corp., with the company’s stock price plunging with the real estate market.
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