Washington, April 25:

Embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is clinging tightly to his post at the global development lender despite intense pressure over his leadership and alleged favoritism for his girlfriend.

In an email Tuesday to bank employees, Wolfowitz assured that he was studying ‘major changes in the way my office and the senior management team wor-k.’ The message followed a meeting on Monday between Wolfowitz and the bank’s senior managers, some of whom had called for his resignation days earlier over the accusation that he had personally sought a favourable job and generous salary package for his companion, bank official Shaha Riza.

The revelation that he ordered a salary worth nearly $200,000 for Riza left him open to accusations of hypocrisy as he steers a controversial campaign agai-nst corruption.

Despite documents that have demonstrated his intervention in Riza’s compensation, Wolfowitz has steadfastly refused to step down, and instead hired a top defen-ce lawyer.

Bennett is a former US federal prosecutor who acted for ex-president Clinton in a sexual harassment case. The White House has staunchly backed Wolfowitz as well, but more than 40 senior former World Bank officials called for his resignation in a letter to a newspaper on Monday.

Wolfowitz confirmed that Monday’s discussions took place, and “the vice-presidents have been candid in their feedback to me on the challenges facing the bank and I appreciate this.”