Press Release: IMF's Managing Director Announces Plans To Resign

November 9, 1999

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Michel Camdessus announced today his plan to resign in early 2000 after an unprecedented 13 years as the Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board of the 182-member institution. His statement to the Executive Board is attached.

Mr. Camdessus, who was appointed to his initial five-year term as Managing Director on January 16, 1987, intends to resign by mid-February 2000, after the IMF's Executive Board names a successor.

Mr. Camdessus is now serving in his third five-year term which began on January 16, 1997. His current biography is available on the IMF's Internet site


My dear colleagues,
Members of the Executive Board:

The moment has come for me to ask you to discharge me of my responsibilities as Managing Director, preferably before the middle of February, by which time I will already be in my 14th year of service in the IMF.

Personal reasons, of which I did not even want to hear, particularly as long as we were in the midst of the Asian crisis, lead me to this decision—a decision I would never have thought would be so hard to take. But when you reappointed me for a third term, an immense honor indeed, I did not interpret it as an expression of your wish to see me serve for 15 years; that would be inappropriate in a world in permanent need of renewal of its institutions. You were generous in leaving to my judgement the choice of the right moment to pass the baton.

This is, I think, the right time.

We have advanced in many fields: we have just established a demanding but exciting work program, and the World Economic Outlook allows us to anticipate favorable trends for the world economy. So I see it as my duty now to suggest that you take advantage of these favorable circumstances to select my replacement, and to use these few months to help my successor become familiar with this superb but complex institution.

My friends, this is the right time. It is hard for me to tell you this. I do so with an enormous sense of gratitude to each of you, and to all in the Fund, for 13 years of support, understanding and warm friendship. The time I have spent here has been the most rewarding in my long career of public service. I leave with absolute confidence in yourselves, in my management colleagues and in the staff of the Fund. I am certain that you will continue to fulfill, under a new Managing Director and with the highest professionalism, integrity, efficiency and continuous success, the purposes of the Fund.

Thank you all.

Washington DC
Tuesday, November 9, 1999


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