who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Smooth transition. At yesterday's press conference on the Asian tsunami, outgoing Bank president James Wolfensohn called for his successor to be appointed quickly to allow a smooth transition.

His staff are preparing a "how to run the Bank" manual for the new president, he said, and he expects bootlegged copies to soon be circulating among the press. We'll let you know when we have a copy...

Full transcript:

MS. WROUGHTON [Reuters]: I mean would you--you started this huge task. As you start winding down, would you like to see this construction project well underway or completed by the time that you leave? My second question is you've spoken of a transition period. Does that mean, would you think that it would be the best thing to have somebody in place quite soon and then work with you until you leave?

MR. WOLFENSOHN: Well, you know, I'd like to get everything done before I go so that nothing is left for my successor.


MR. WOLFENSOHN: But I think that's unlikely either in the case of the tsunamis or the Congo or the Middle East crisis or a hundred other things I could tell you, so I don't think I should wait around to complete this or anything else. I think there will always be things for us to do.

What I plan to do in the next five months is to work as hard as I can on every one of the issues which is before us. I don't intend to stop working till the first of June, and on the transition, it's really for the shareholders to decide. What I would be very pleased about would be if they can decide on the successor in time for me to be able to work with whoever that person is for a period of time to make a smooth transition.

We're already preparing a transition manual which will be an ABC guide to how to run the Bank, which no doubt bootlegged copies will be made available to the press, and then you can all know the secrets of the institution, but in any event I'm going to try and get that together because it's something I lacked when I came in and I'd like my successor to have it. So I'm doing everything I can to prepare for whoever the successor is.

Five minutes to go. See how I'm--before I announced my retirement, they never gave me these things, but now they feel I'm vulnerable. Are there any more questions? Take two more questions.

MR. DUNPHY [AP]: After June 1, what are you going to do?

MR. WOLFENSOHN: I'm going to have a rest.

David Steven ~ January 13, 2005

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