Headless BofA

By Felix Salmon
November 6, 2009
Mark DeCambre is right: it seems that BofA is going to remain headless at least until Thanksgiving. No outsider seems to want the job -- the list of people who have turned it down seems to include everybody who works or has ever worked at JP Morgan, plus former BofA executive Michael O'Neill, who went on to head up both Barclays and Bank of Hawaii. Meanwhile, the leading insider, Brian Moynihan, can't conceivably be tapped until after his Congressional testimony on November 17.

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Mark DeCambre is right: it seems that BofA is going to remain headless at least until Thanksgiving. No outsider seems to want the job — the list of people who have turned it down seems to include everybody who works or has ever worked at JP Morgan, plus former BofA executive Michael O’Neill, who went on to head up both Barclays and Bank of Hawaii. Meanwhile, the leading insider, Brian Moynihan, can’t conceivably be tapped until after his Congressional testimony on November 17.

It’s not as if Ken Lewis’s reputation needed to take another hit, but here it is anyway: he’s created a monster with no succession plan and no ability to hire a CEO. At least when Hugh McColl was building the monster it was always clear that Lewis would be there if he ever fell under a bus. Lewis, by contrast, made sure to throw any potential rivals out of their top-floor windows on a regular basis. And now the BofA board is struggling with the consequences of those decisions.

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