Christos Cotsakos, who built E*Trade Group into a well-known online bank, has abruptly resigned. Although the company did not give a reason for the CEO's departure, he did spark controversy last year when news surfaced of his $80 million-pay package for 2001.

After an uproar from investors and the launch of multiple lawsuits, he agreed to give back $21 million worth of holdings, reducing his compensation to about $60 million for the year.

E*Trade, which forecasted weak numbers in its recently released quarterly earnings report, has designated Mitchell Caplan to replace Cotsakos. In an interview, Cotsakos said he was ready for the move and said it occurred as the result of a unanimous decision by E*Trade's board at a regularly scheduled meeting.

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