Ken Lewis: Halfway out

By Felix Salmon
April 29, 2009

I’m very glad that after the literally ridiculous performance he put on today, BofA’s Ken Lewis has been stripped of his job as chairman. Annual meetings are largely theatre, of course: the important votes have all been cast long before the meeting takes place. But with Lewis still saying with a straight face that the acquisitions of both Countrywide and Merrill Lynch were a really good idea, I can’t see how the principle of shareholders (as opposed to the CEO) electing the chairman could really survive Lewis’s re-election.

For the time being, Lewis remains as CEO, but that’s up to the board, which presumably now will take succession planning much more seriously than it has done hereunto. If and when a viable candidate for CEO emerges, I doubt Lewis will stay in charge for long.

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