Board of troubled Wachovia Bank ousts its CEO

Less than a month after losing his chairman post, Ken Thompson is out as Wachovia Corp.'s chief executive officer as the Charlotte bank wrestles with mounting losses from its troubled Golden West Financial Corp. acquisition and ongoing investor unrest.

Wachovia said this morning that Thompson had retired at the board's request, ending more than a three-decade career at the nation's No. 4 bank by assets. The board appointed Chairman Lanty Smith as interim CEO; vice chairman and general bank president Ben Jenkins will serve as interim chief operating officer.

The board has formed a special committee to search for a permanent CEO. In a conference call with reporters, Smith said the board would consider internal and external candidates for the job. He gave no timeframe for hiring a new CEO but said the search would be done with "alacrity."

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