Joseph Sullivan was named CEO of Legg Mason, the company announced early Wednesday.
He replaces Mark Fetting, who resigned as chairman and CEO on Oct. 1.
Mr. Sullivan had been interim CEO since Mr. Fetting’s departure; before that, Mr. Sullivan was senior executive vice president and head of global distribution. Independent director W. Allen Reed was named non-executive chairman upon Mr. Fetting’s departure.
“The selection process included not only the search committee and the board, but also the leaders of our affiliate managers and senior corporate leadership,” Mr. Reed said in a Legg Mason news release.
Terence Johnson, managing director and head of international distribution, took on Mr. Sullivan’s responsibilities on an interim basis. Mary Athridge, Legg Mason spokeswoman, said no announcement has been made on filling Mr. Sullivan’s previous post.
Mr. Fetting remained as a consultant to the company through the end of 2012. His resignation was a mutual decision between himself and the board, Ms. Athridge said.
Recruiter Korn/Ferry International assisted. Michael Castine, chairman of asset and wealth management at Korn/Ferry, said in a telephone interview early Wednesday that 15 candidates were considered, including two within Legg Mason. He said Mr. Sullivan was a candidate “right from the start.”
James Hirschmann, CEO of Western Asset Management Co. — Legg Mason’s largest affiliate by assets, with $460 billion as of Sept. 30 — said Wednesday that Legg Mason affiliates were involved in the CEO selection from its early stages.
“Joe is someone who knows Legg Mason very well,” Mr. Hirschmann said in an interview. “Joe’s personality makes it very easy to work with him. He’s very open, very direct, very willing to deal with issues in a straightforward manner. He addressed issues that are of concern to affiliates,” including the potential to increase affiliate employees’ equity stakes in their firms and affiliate opportunities for expansion.