updated 6/9/2005 1:27:14 PM ET 2005-06-09T17:27:14

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg resigned late Wednesday from the board of American International Group Inc., the insurance company he led as CEO for nearly 40 years and built into one of the world’s largest.

The resignation was effective immediately, according to Greenberg’s four-sentence resignation letter.

“My decision to resign now results from my inability to receive information regarding the company and its operations necessary to fulfill my fiduciary duties,” he wrote. “I wish the employees of AIG every future success.”

A spokesman for Greenberg’s legal team, Howard Opinsky, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

AIG’s board forced Greenberg, 80, to relinquish his posts as president and CEO on March 14, and he retired as the company’s chairman two weeks later.

Greenberg had previously said he would not stand for re-election as a director, and in April the company named two new outside members to its board.

New York regulators have filed a civil lawsuit against AIG, Greenberg and former Chief Financial Officer Howard I. Smith, saying they orchestrated an accounting scheme that made AIG’s financial picture appear brighter than it was, misleading both investors and regulators.

Last week, the New York-based company filed its long-delayed 2004 annual report with regulators. It lowered its reported income by nearly $4 billion for the last five years and cut shareholders’ equity by $2.26 billion, or 2.7 percent, to $80.61 billion as of Dec. 31, 2004.

Greenberg’s departure marks the end of his association with AIG, but he remains the head of Starr International, part of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. which holds and manages retirement funds of past and current AIG executives. C.V. Starr founded the company that became AIG.

AIG shares fell 28 cents to close at $54.95 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded between $49.91 and $74.15 over the past year.

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