NEW YORK — Standard & Poor’s wild month continues.

The president of S&P is stepping down just two weeks after the rating agency stripped the United States of its AAA credit rating. At the same time, an activist hedge fund is calling for S&P’s parent to break into four separate companies to unlock more value for shareholders.

McGraw-Hill Cos., the parent company, said that the resignation of Deven Sharma was not related to Jana Partners’ breakup proposal or to S&P’s polarizing decision to downgrade its rating on U.S. debt. McGraw-Hill named Citibank’s chief operating officer, Douglas Peterson, to the S&P job late Monday.

Jana Partners, which had also called for new leadership at S&P, issued a terse response Tuesday to Peterson’s appointment. “Recognizing the need for help at S&P will be useful,” the firm said in a statement, “but to address years of chronic underperformance for its shareholders McGraw-Hill will need to take much bolder steps.”

Representatives from Jana Partners and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which together own more than 5 percent of McGraw-Hill’s shares, presented a 26-slide presentation to McGraw-Hill leaders Monday.

In the presentation, they said McGraw-Hill should separate into four public companies: the education division, which provides testing and other materials for schools and colleges; the information and media division, which includes the Platts energy analysis unit and the J.D. Power rankings; the financial division, which includes research firm Capital IQ and credit and equity research; and the S&P ratings division.

Jana Partners said that grouping the four businesses together is inefficient and results in heavy overhead costs. For example, the education division, where revenue is falling as school districts suffer from squeezed budgets, takes away from other units where revenue is growing, the firm said.

“The question is: What is McGraw-Hill’s logic for keeping any of these businesses together?” the firm said in its presentation.

On Aug. 5, S&P decided to downgrade its rating on U.S. debt, a move that has been both praised and criticized. Jana Partners on Monday said “the recent regulatory and political scrutiny” surrounding S&P “highlights the drawbacks of housing wholly unrelated businesses together and the risks of further delay on addressing this issue.”

McGraw-Hill said it’s already made changes meant to bolster the company’s value, including plans to sell the broadcast division and buying two businesses to complement Platts. On Tuesday, it said it had engaged outside advisers, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Evercore Partners, to help it further review its portfolio.

McGraw-Hill shares show a small increase for the year. But investors dumped shares after S&P issued the U.S. downgrade, and they’re down about 8.5 percent in August, which has been a volatile month in the stock market. On Tuesday, shares rose 3.2 percent to $38.21 in afternoon trading.

The company declined to comment on Monday’s meeting, which occurred hours before Sharma’s resignation was announced.

The company said Tuesday that Sharma, 55, had decided to leave months ago, after the company split the S&P ratings agency from its other financial divisions. McGraw-Hill said it had been looking for a replacement since the beginning of the year.