Mark Adelson, an executive at Standard & Poor's who pushedfor tougher credit rating criteria, has left the company, accordingto the Wall Street Journal. Adelson was hired in 2008 torestore confidence in S&P's ratings at a time when the agencywas under fire from regulators and lawmakers for its role in thefinancial crisis. He served as S&P's chief credit officer untillate 2011, when he was moved into a research position.

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Adelson was a brash and controversial figure whose changes tocriteria led to downgrades, including S&P's removing itsTriple-A designation from U.S. debt last year. According to aninternal memo, Adelson left S&P to pursue other interests.

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