Countrywide Financial Corp. chairman and CEO Angelo Mozilo is negotiating with the mortgage giant's board to remain as chief executive officer beyond the end of the year.A co-founder of the company, Mr. Mozilo was originally set to step down as CEO on Dec. 31 but remain as chairman. His so-called "retirement" as CEO has been in doubt for several months and came to a head last week when the lender/servicer revealed that company president and chief operating officer Stanford L. Kurland -- once considered a possible heir to Mr. Mozilo -- had resigned. Mr. Kurland was immediately replaced by David Sambol, a 21-year veteran of Countrywide, who served as executive managing director of business-segment operations. On Tuesday, Mr. Mozilo told attendees of a Countrywide investor forum that he was renegotiating his contract. Even though Mr. Mozilo will remain as CEO, many in the industry believe the just-promoted Mr. Sambol eventually will succeed him as the company's top executive. The company can be found online at http://www.countrywide.com.

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