With Bank of New York Mellon Corp. chief executive Bob Kelly no longer in the running, Bank of America Corp.'s board is likely to choose from one of two internal candidates to replace departing CEO Ken Lewis, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
The board had zeroed in on Kelly, but the two current Bank of America executives — chief risk officer Greg Curl and consumer banking head Brian Moynihan — remained in "active consideration," the person said. While nothing is definite, the board will likely consider selecting one of the two toward the end of the week, the person said.
With the bank's reputation suffering during the 10-week hunt, bank analyst Nancy Bush of NAB Research said the board needs to face the reality that it won't find the perfect candidate who pleases everyone. "At this point they're facing the loss of their leader, they need to replace that leader and they need to do it expeditiously so they can begin to undo the damage that has been done as the chase goes on," Bush said.
Lewis, 62, announced Sept. 30 that he was stepping down at year's end, ending a four-decade career at the company amid mounting criticism of his Jan. 1 Merrill Lynch & Co. acquisition. Since the decision, the bank's shares have fallen more than 10 percent, slightly worse than the performance of the KBW Philadelphia Bank Index. The shares slipped nearly 3 percent to $15.19 on Tuesday, on a mostly down day for bank stocks.
Kelly, a former Wachovia Corp. chief financial officer, emerged as a front-runner for Lewis' job in recent days but on Monday afternoon told employees at BNY Mellon that he was staying put. The person familiar with the matter said compensation was an issue and that Kelly had also raised the possibility of moving the Charlotte bank's headquarters to New York.
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