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Cramer says banking glass ceiling ‘finally cracking’ with Jane Fraser named as next Citi CEO

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday praised the appointment of Jane Fraser as the next chief executive officer of Citigroup, making her the first woman to lead a U.S. megabank. 

“The glass ceiling in banking maybe is finally cracking,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” Citi is the third-largest U.S. bank by assets. 

Fraser is set to succeed Michael Corbat, who plans to retire as CEO in February after 37 years at Citi, including the past eight years in the top job. Fraser, at the company for 16 years, currently serves as the head of Citi’s global consumer banking unit.

While taking over as CEO in February, Fraser was elected to the Citi board, effective immediately. She took over as global consumer banking president in October, which positioned her then as a potential successor to Corbat.

“This is revolutionary and we can’t deny it,” Cramer said.

The “Mad Money” host also cited recent changes at Clorox, which resulted in Linda Rendle, 42, becoming CEO.

“When Benno Dorer [56] retired at a very young age over at Clorox and appointed a woman, I said, ‘You know what, maybe this is the beginning of the recognition that it’s important that women get top jobs,'” he said.

“As a father of two daughters, who were always asking, ‘Who are the women who run companies?’ It’s always one hand that you can name,” Cramer added. “Maybe this is a really great sign.”

Cramer also complimented the job Corbat has done leading Citi, noting the growth in net income from about $7.5 billion to $19.4 billion and also the return of $80 billion in capital. 

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“Banking is hard,” Cramer said, who described Corbat as a personal friend. “All those numbers haven’t necessarily led to a great performance of the stock but they are great numbers.” 

H. Rodgin Cohen, a prominent Wall Street lawyer, said he has worked with and known Fraser for more than a decade, calling her the “obvious CEO” replacement for Corbat and “an incredibly talented person.” 

“Strategically, what you see is that she has had experience in all phases of Citi over the years,” the senior chair at Sullivan & Cromwell said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “I remember the first time being introduced to her, which is a long time ago, and one of the executives saying, ‘This is the real up-and-comer in the organization.’ This is 13 years ago, and it was not the upcoming woman. It was really the up-and-coming individual in the organization.”

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