Fannie Mae’s CIO Set to Leave

Fannie Mae chief information officer Julie St. John, a 16-year veteran of the mortgage financing company, will leave at the end of the year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

In a July 7 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fannie Mae said St. John “has been taking a lead role in connection with the company’s ongoing restructuring of its enterprise systems and operations division.” According to the company, she agreed to defer her departure date until Dec. 31.

Through a representative, St. John released this statement: “After 16 years with the company, I made the decision that it was time for me to consider other opportunities both personally and professionally. Out of loyalty to the company, I committed to staying through the end of the year as we complete our important restructuring. I am fortunate to be at a point in my life where I can consider a variety of options.”

A Fannie Mae spokeswoman would not comment on plans to replace St. John.

St. John, 54, will receive 78 weeks of severance pay, totaling $794,463, as well as up to $18,000 in outplacement services, according to the filing. When she leaves in December, St. John will also hold vested and exercisable options to purchase 269,964 shares of Fannie Mae stock, worth at least $14 million.

Fannie Mae, the second-biggest financial institution in the U.S. after Citigroup, is in the midst of restating its earnings since 2001. Those corrections are expected to reduce its previously stated earnings by at least $11 billion.

In May 2006, the company was fined $400 million in settlement with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) and the SEC, one of the largest civil penalties in an accounting fraud case. Fannie Mae also agreed to make changes in its corporate culture and its accounting and risk-management practices.