Alan "Ace" Greenberg, long known as one of Wall Street's savviest executives, is stepping down as chairman of investment firm Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC), the company said Tuesday.
Greenberg, 73, joined Bear Stearns in 1949. The firm's chief executive from 1978 to 1993, he was responsible for one of the most profitable periods in Bear Stearns' history, which included its initial public offering in 1985.
"I think over the years we demonstrated we know how to use our capital," Greenberg said. "I don't think we've ever had a losing year. I don't know too many firms on Wall Street that can say that."
Known for his card tricks, bridge game and penchant for hanging around the Bear Stearns trading desk even as a top executive, Greenberg will stay on as chairman of Bear Stearns' executive committee.
Chief Executive James Cayne will take over as chairman. Cayne, 67, relinquished his post as president and will be replaced by new co-presidents, Alan Schwartz and Warren Spector.
Schwartz and Spector also were named co-chief operating officers. Schwartz, 51, remains the company's senior investment banker, and Spector, 43, continues to head the firm's fixed-income division and other units.
Bear Stearns stock fell 30 cents to $56.30 in New York Stock Exchange trading Tuesday.