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IMF chief economist resigns

Latest update : 2008-05-06

A year after taking the post, Simon Johnson, the International Monetary Fund's chief economist, announced he is resigning. His resignation came a week after the IMF announced that one in five employees had applied for a buyout package.

The International Monetary Fund's chief economist, Simon Johnson, announced Monday he is resigning, a year after taking the post, to return to research and teaching.
  
Johnson notified IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn of his intention to return to his professor's post at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is on leave of absence, the IMF said in a statement.
  
He has been the IMF's economic counsellor since March 2007 and will maintain his responsibilities until September 1.
  
"In order to devote more time to research and teaching, I have decided to leave the IMF," Johnson said.
  
"This is not an easy decision and I am sorry to leave the Fund. My many outstanding colleagues here have made it a pleasure and a great learning experience to come to work every day. I wish them all well in the days ahead."
  
Johnson thanked the IMF executive board for their "strong support" of both independent-minded research at the 185-nation institution and his specific role as economic counselor "during challenging times for the global economy."
  
His resignation came less than a week after the IMF announced that one in five employees, or 50 percent more than wanted, had applied for a buyout package.
  
A total of 591 employees in the workforce of 2,900 sought the door under a separation program launched in early March to trim salary costs at the financially troubled institution.
  
Among those asking to leave were several department heads, including David Burton, one of the architects of the IMF reform under way to restore the relevance and credibility of the 44-year-old institution.
  
The IMF said it will conduct an external search for Johnson's successor.

Date created : 2008-05-06

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