Ken Lewis, RIP

By Felix Salmon
September 30, 2009
Ken Lewis is leaving Bank of America -- and about time too. The board now has three months to find a successor; the new chairman, Walter Massey, has no real choice but to move "in a deliberate and expeditious manner" to find a replacement.

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Ken Lewis is leaving Bank of America — and about time too. The board now has three months to find a successor; the new chairman, Walter Massey, has no real choice but to move “in a deliberate and expeditious manner” to find a replacement.

The timing is intriguing, coming the day after this statement from Jamie Dimon about Bill Winters:

“Choosing between two outstanding people is the hardest part of this job. Bill is an outstanding professional. He has expressed a desire to be his own CEO and I think that is entirely reasonable.”

Would BofA choose an investment banker as its new CEO? That didn’t work out so well for Citigroup. But on the other hand, Lewis has been personally identified with Bank of America for as long as it has existed in its present form (essentially, from the day that Nationsbank acquired the legacy BofA). There’s certainly no heir apparent.

With John Thain out, the most likely successor is probably Brian Moynihan, the man who was parachuted in to save the day in the wake of Thain’s ouster. But the fact that BofA isn’t announcing a successor now is indicative of the chaos within the bank, and indicative too that Lewis’s departure isn’t entirely voluntary.

Did Massey finally get fed up with the SEC, and the New York attorney general, and Judge Jed Rakoff, and half of Congress, and a large part of the shareholder base, all calling for Lewis’s head? Maybe we’ll see when details of Lewis’s exit package emerge. My guess is that his last act as CEO will be to strong-arm the board into giving him something very generous.

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Comments
6 comments so far

>>My guess is that his last act as CEO will be to strong-arm the board into giving him something very generous.>>

You’re just saying that because 99.99% of fired public company CEOs manage to be generously rewarded upon exit.

Posted by foosion | Report as abusive

Any chance he will not pass GO and will proceed straight to jail? He’s earned it.

Posted by RobertM | Report as abusive

good riddance, and not a moment too soon

Posted by yr | Report as abusive

It might just be the case. May be we’ll know sometime this week what truly happened. I’ll personally be on the look out.

It will be interesting when he, and his henchmen have to face scrutiny for there actions. It will also be interesting to see how far the investigations and the lawsuits go. I think that many who think they skated away free will find that they have tabs to pay and will have to face quite a few juries.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive

KENNY THE BAILOUT MOOCHER
(Minnie the Moocher, Cab Calloway)
WilliamBanzai7

Sing along link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33nTnawq6 jk

Hey folks here\’s the story bout Kenny the bailout moocher
He was a low down Charlotte BAC hoochie coocher
His was the roughest toughest banking sob tale
But Kenny had an appetite as big as a securitized whale

Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodeho (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehedehe (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehideho (hidehidehideho)

One weekend he messed around with a bloke named Thain
He wanted the Merrill Bulls or he\’d go completely insane
Thain took him round the block to Chinatown
And showed old Kenny how Wall Street gangstas kick the gong around

Hidehidehide-LEVEL 3 (hidehidehidehi)
Whoah (whoah)
Hedehedehede-GREED (hedehedehedehe)
A hidehidehideho CDO (hidehidehideho)

Kenny had a dream bout yet another financial supermarket
It would give him things that he was needin
It would give him a home built of gold and steel
A diamond studded learjet with platinum wheels

A hidehidehidehidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodehodehodehodeho (hodehodehodehodehodehodeho)

Thain sold Ken a herd of bonus cows and a boatload of subprime losses
Each meal Ken ate was full of surprising new derivative courses
Had a billion dollars worth of taxpayer nickels and dimes
He sat around and counted them all a million times

Hidehidehide-LEVEL 3 (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehode-CDO (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehede-GREED (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehide-HOSED (hidehidehideho)

POOOOOOR MAN
POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR MAN
POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR MAN

Hey folks here\’s the story bout Kenny the bailout moocher
He was a low down Charlotte BAC hoochie coocher
His was the roughest toughest banking sob tale
But Kenny had an appetite as big as a securitized whale

Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodeho (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehedehe (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehideho (hidehidehideho)

One weekend he messed around with a bloke named Thain
He wanted the Merrill Bulls or he\’d go completely insane
Thain took him round the block to Chinatown
And showed old Kenny how Wall Street gangstas kick the gong around

Hidehidehide-LEVEL 3 (hidehidehidehi)
Whoah (whoah)
Hedehedehede-GREED (hedehedehedehe)
A hidehidehideho CDO (hidehidehideho)

Kenny had a dream bout yet another financial supermarket
It would give him things that he was needin
It would give him a home built of gold and steel
A diamond studded learjet with platinum wheels

A hidehidehidehidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodehodehodehodeho (hodehodehodehodehodehodeho)

Thain sold Ken a herd of bonus cows and a boatload of subprime losses
Each meal Ken ate was full of surprising new derivative courses
Had a billion dollars worth of taxpayer nickels and dimes
He sat around and counted them all a million times

Hidehidehide-LEVEL 3 (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehode-CDO (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehede-GREED (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehide-HOSED (hidehidehideho)

POOOOOOR MAN
POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR MAN
POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR MAN

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