Brian Clarkson, president and chief operating officer of Moody's Investors Service, has decided to retire at the end of July, according to a memo from the rating agency. He will be stepping down in order to make way for new management to lead the company through its current changes in response to market criticism. "Challenging credit market conditions, combined with Moody's role and function in those markets, have created scrutiny and criticism from numerous external sources about various aspects of our business," the memo said. Clarkson has also led the global structured finance, project finance, managed funds and public finance ratings businesses, as well as holding sales and marketing related positions in Moody's credit research and analysis products.

Replacing Clarkson, Michel Madelain has been appointed chief operating officer at Moody's. Madelain was most recently executive vice president of fundamental ratings at the rating agency, with responsibility for all global company and government ratings, including corporate finance, financial institutions, public finance and infrastructure finance. Previously, Madelain was senior managing director with responsibility for global banking. He also managed Moody's corporate ratings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and held several managing director positions within the firm in the U.S. and the U.K. Before Moody's, Madelain was a partner in Ernst & Young's Auditing Practice.

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