WSJ: Ken Lewis to resign after barrage of ML criticism - Spear's Magazine

WSJ: Ken Lewis to resign after barrage of ML criticism

After fighting to keep his grip on the bank he helped build from a scrappy Southern outsider to the nation’s largest in assets, Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth D. Lewis said he will resign by year end.

After fighting to keep his grip on the bank he helped build from a scrappy Southern outsider to the nation’s largest in assets, Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth D. Lewis said he will resign by year end.

The 62-year-old Mr. Lewis, who has led the Charlotte, N.C., bank since 2001, notified the board of his decision Wednesday. A person close to him says Mr. Lewis was fed up with the criticism that haunted him following the takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. The board had told Mr. Lewis it wanted to know how long he planned to stay. He indicated that he would stay through 2010, this person said, but he changed his mind during a vacation to Aspen, Colo., in late August. One sign to company insiders that something was up: Mr. Lewis returned to work after Labor Day in a full beard, which no one at the bank had ever seen before. He shaved it off after one day.

Mr. Lewis was initially hailed as a hero for swooping in to buy Merrill on the same weekend last September when Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed. He soon may face civil securities charges from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over disclosures of Merrill’s bonus payments and ballooning losses shortly before the takeover was completed in January.

“I will simply say that this was my decision, and mine alone,” Mr. Lewis wrote in a farewell memo to employees.

To read the full story, visit wsj.com



 

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