Former AIG executive Joseph Cassano came under fire Wednesday from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission over the end of his time at the bailed-out company.
Cassano made his first public comments over two years after he was forced to resign over the company's failure, which triggered the 2008 financial crisis.
The former head of the financial products division is blamed by many for the proliferation of credit default swaps, insurance-like instruments sold to large financial firms that eventually caused the company's liquidity crisis.
The commission's vice chairman, former Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) asked Cassano about the circumstances of his ouster.
After probing the matter, Cassano asked Thomas "Are you asking why I left?" The commissioner responded "I don't think I'm supposed to but I am pondering it."
Cassano said that former AIG CEO Martin Sullivan asked him to leave the company over a change in direction.
"Look I was at the -- after the material-weakness finding ... Mr. Sullivan asked me to come and see him," he said. "He told me that changes were going to be made. He didn't think that I would like the changes that were going to be made and he suggested that I retire. And I agreed to it."