David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of money-losing mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what police said was an apparent suicide.
Mary Ann Jennings, director of public information for the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department, said Kellermann was found dead in his suburban Virginia home. The police would not say if a suicide note was found.
Kellermann, 41, lived in Hunter Mill Estates, a well-off neighborhood of large single-family homes with manicured lawns. County records show Kellermann's home is worth about $900,000.
He worked for Freddie Mac for the past 16 years and was named acting chief financial officer last September when the government seized control of the company to keep it from failing. Freddie Mac lost more than $50 billion last year, and the government has pumped in $45 billion to keep the company afloat.
Freddie Mac, which owns or guarantees about 13 million mortgages, has been criticized for financing risky mortgage loans that fueled the real estate bubble.
News of Kellermann's death came as a shock to employees of the McLean, Va.-based company, with those who knew Kellermann tearing up on Wednesday morning and a quiet mood prevailing.
Early Wednesday, Sharon McHale, a Freddie Mac spokeswoman, said senior executives at the company heard the news on local radio before going to work.
"It's just so awful," she said.
John Koskinen, the company's interim chief executive, said in a statement that Kellermann, "was a man of great talents .... His extraordinary work ethic and integrity inspired all who worked with him."
Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae have both come under fire from lawmakers as they plan to pay more than $210 million in bonuses through next year to give workers the incentive to stay in their jobs.
While Fannie Mae has disclosed the names of executives in line for the bonuses, Freddie Mac has yet to do so.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)