Posted on 17 Dec 2009
Bank of America appointed senior executive Brian Moynihan as its new chief executive officer, the company said late Wednesday, putting an end to months of speculation about who would lead the nation's largest bank.
"I have worked closely with Brian Moynihan for six years, and I believe he is the right person to lead our company forward," exiting CEO Ken Lewis said in a statement. "He is a decisive leader and an exacting manager.
Moynihan, 50, is currently president of Consumer and Small Business at BofA. He was previously head of Global Wealth and Investment Management at FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by BofA in 2004. Moynihan worked for FleetBoston for 11 years.
"Brian has been the top executive leading wealth management, corporate and investment banking and consumer banking. His work with international clients in our capital markets businesses has given him broad knowledge of and perspective on global financial services markets," said BofA chairman Walter Massey, who led the successor search, in a statement.
Lewis took the company's board of directors by surprise in September when he announced his plan to retire from the firm.
He had publicly promised to serve until the bank paid back the $45 billion the company received last fall under TARP, or the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In the end, however, scrutiny over the Merrill Lynch deal proved too much for Lewis, who will retire on Dec. 31.
"We have everything we need at Bank of America to be the best financial services company in the world," said Moynihan in a statement. "What we need to do now is very simple. We need to execute."
In mid-January, the company revealed that it needed an additional $20 billion in government aid, to help the company absorb its purchase of the investment banking firm.
That came on top of $25 billion that Bank of America had already received from the government as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.