Head of rating agency S&P stepping down

NEW YORK (AP) — The president of Standard & Poor’s is stepping down, an announcement coming only weeks after the rating agency’s unprecedented move to strip the United States of its AAA credit rating.

The McGraw-Hill Cos., the parent of S&P, said late Monday that Deven Sharma will be replaced by Douglas Peterson, now the chief operating officer of Citibank N.A., Citigroup Inc.’s chief banking arm.

Sharma, 55, “was ready for new challenges” after helping S&P separate its data, pricing and analytics business from its ratings business, McGraw-Hill said in a statement. The company unveiled that restructuring at S&P late last year.

Peterson, 53, will take over the helm of S&P starting Sept. 12. Sharma will stay on as an adviser at the parent company until the end of the year.

McGraw-Hill’s statement did not mention of the Aug. 5 downgrade that sent shock waves through global financial markets and was sharply criticized by the Obama administration, which said the agency’s analysis was fundamentally flawed. Othe

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