CIT Group, a lender to small businesses and middle-market companies which emerged from bankruptcy earlier this month, announced today that its chief financial officer, Joseph Leone, will retire on April 30, 2010, and that four new directors have been appointed to its board.

Michael Embler, Arthur Newman, Daniel Ninivaggi and R. Brad Oates have been appointed by the company’s board to serve as directors, which now consists of 11 directors and Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Peek, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The appointments were effective Friday.

CIT continues to search for a new CEO and three additional directors, which will reconstitute its board to 13 directors.

Embler formerly served as the chief investment officer of Franklin Mutual Advisers. Before joining Franklin Mutual Advisers in 2001, he worked at Nomura Holdings America, where he served as a managing director overseeing a team investing in a proprietary fund focused on distressed and other event-driven corporate investments.

Newman serves as senior managing director and co-head of the restructuring and reorganization advisory group at Blackstone Group, a position he has held since 1991. Prior to joining Blackstone, Newman served from 1989-1991 as a managing director and head of the restructuring and reorganization group at Chemical Bank.

Ninivaggi has served as of counsel to the international law firm of Winston & Strawn since July 2009. From 2003 to July 2009, Ninivaggi served in a variety of executive positions at Lear Corp., including as general counsel from 2003-2007, senior vice president from 2004-2006 and most recently executive vice president and chief administrative officer. Prior to joining Lear, Ninivaggi was a partner at Winston & Strawn from 1998 until 2003, specializing in corporate finance, M&A, and corporate governance. Ninivaggi also serves as a senior advisor to Casesa Shapiro Group, an automotive industry-consulting firm.

Oates serves as chairman and managing partner of Stone Advisors, a strategic advisory firm specializing in distressed asset situations. Prior to joining Stone Advisors, Oates served from 1988-2003 as president and chief operating officer of Bluebonnet Savings Bank FSB, responsible for bank operations and strategic planning in a bank turnaround situation, and as executive vice president of Stone Holdings, the holding company for Bluebonnet Savings Bank.

Leone, prior to being named CFO in 1995, was executive vice president of The CIT Group Sales Financing, an operating unit of CIT. Before joining CIT in 1986 as senior vice president and controller, he was with Manufacturers Hanover Corp. and Peat Marwick & Co.

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