Feb. 4 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's nominee for Army Secretary has withdrawn from consideration due to difficulties divesting himself from his businesses.
Vincent Viola, the billionaire founder of digital stock trading firm Virtu Financial and owner of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, withdrew on Friday stating he was unable to navigate the Defense Department's confirmation process, according to the Military Times.
"I appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me," Viola said in a statement. "I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and look forward to redoubling my efforts to support the Army and its veterans as private citizens."
Viola said he was "deeply honored" to have been nominated, but his plans to transfer ownership and operations of his businesses and the hockey team did not meet Pentagon requirements.
Viola graduated from West Point, where he helped found the Combating Terrorism Center, and attained the rank of major in the army reserve. He also formerly served as chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was disappointed by Viola's withdrawal but "understands and respects Mr. Viola's decision" Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said according to the Washington Post. Davis also said Mattis is "confident that Mr. Viola will remain a stalwart supporter of America's soldiers" and will recommend a new nominee soon.