Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis, his credibility battered by his handling of the Merrill Lynch & Co. takeover, plans to step down at the end of this year.

No successor was named to replace Lewis, who will also retire as a director, according to a statement today from Bank of America, the biggest U.S. lender by assets and deposits. The resignation ends Lewis’s 40-year career at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, including the last eight as CEO.

Discuss . . .

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management

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22 Responses to “GONE: BofA’s Ken Lewis”

  1. jc says:

    Is his severance package subject to review by the US pay czar? I’m sure it will be a pittance compared to Stan O’Neal’s. Stan got more for killing ML than Lewis will get for buying ML. Lewis was gutless and illegal with the ML takeover. Paulson was a crim all the way through the crisis.

  2. call me ahab says:

    a travesty- or better yet- as so eloquently put by ZH-

    “Not a bad move by the man about to be raided by the Fed, the AG, the SEC, the Tooth Fairy and who knows who else. In other news, the Chairman wins again.”

  3. Winston Munn says:

    I made him the offer he couldn’t refuse – Vito Paulsionni

  4. Pat G. says:

    Another asshole who has escaped justice.

  5. I’m kind of nervous about this actually…

    What happens if he buys a retirement condo in Florida that ends up costing more than he can afford, are my family and I on the hook for that too?

    And what if the dues for his country club or the docking fees for his boat run way above his means? Will more of our taxes be necessary to bail him out of those decisions as well.

    this guy having idle hands could end up costing us all a fortune.

  6. bobmitchell says:

    Ken did what Ken was told to do. In the press conference following the announced merger between mer and bac he had a verbal slip. He was asked about the price he paid for mer. In the middle of answering he slipped a little off point, he said that “…you don’t push back on the fed…”

    Slip up noted at 4:50 in the following viedo-

    This is before the mer loss or bonus debacle. What was the fed pushing? What were the terms?

  7. bobmitchell says:

    wrong link, 4:50 into this one…

  8. BG says:

    With Ken Lewis now gone, watch all those investigations by Andrew Cuomo, et. al. just melt away. End of Act I.

    Act II involves the CEO selection process culminating in a choice who plays golf not in NC, but in NY.

    Act III consists of moving the HQ of BOA to NY around 2012.

    IMO, what we are seeing here is one set of crooks holding up and robbing another set of crooks from across town. It seems quite obvious to me. What really did Ken Lewis do that all the other Bank CEOs didn’t also do?

    Ans. Pissed off Ben Bernanke when he threatened to pull out of the Merrill Lynch deal.

    Don’t take my word for it, ask Hank Paulson. He’ll tell you the same thing…..the same thing he testified to before Congress; which is in direct conflict to what BB testified to; but, I guess that doesn’t matter.

  9. Trainwreck says:

    I hope the door slams him in the ass seriously hard as he walks out the door. Oh and the millions he has pocketed, lets not forget that. He deserves the tar and feather treatment.

  10. JoWriter says:

    @ bobmitchell – that video is powerful… and horrible. I spent most of the time watching the crawling headlines below Thain & Lewis – the financial world was slowly coming to an end. I was too busy last year to keep track of what was happening on the market and in the economy.
    How soon we forget.
    I have no love for BofA, but from my vantage point out here in the boonies, it looks to me as if both of them, but Lewis especially, were in shock. I actually have some sympathy for him. Does anybody really think the money he’s gotten has compensated for the sheer panic and emotional stress he has undergone? I don’t.

  11. I am not saying that shenanigans did not go down and that Lewis was not forced or even blackmailed into closing on the ML deal, but Lewis did initiate the deal in the first place. And less we forget, this is also the man that decided it was a good idea to pay $4 billion for Countrywide. Any one of these two disastrous decisions alone should be enough to be fired. Nobody deserves to take a fall more than Ken Lewis. Good riddance.

  12. philipat says:

    I what kind of quiet backroom deal was worked out on this one?

    I guess we will know from the size of the Deverance package and whether criminal prosecutions move ahead.

    Perhaps no memoirs?

  13. philipat says:


  14. JasRas says:

    He’s a patsy. He’s a banker who is way out of his element and has been for a while. The rest of the players play for keeps and grew up playing hardball. He’ll be tucked away and forgotten.

    I still can’t believe that people think this guy was anything but a bootstrap story gone wrong. He should have never been more than in charge of a large regional, but was at the right place at the wrong time and become the head of something that now represents everything that is wrong. And like a good soldier, he’ll step off quietly, taking the heat so others above him can slide into the dark shadows.

    We’ll see if the media calls off their dogs now, or if they’ll keep pushing…please keep pushing. They threw Thain under the bus, removed all the old guard from Merrill, separated the Chairman/CEO titles and got cronies off the board, and now the forced resignation of Lewis. If they stop now, I’ll be disappointed…

  15. Mike M says:

    When’s the tar and feather?

  16. flipspiceland says:

    Guaranteed the new one will be a member of The Tribe.

  17. flipspiceland says:


    This is sarcasm, right? You don’t actually feel sorry any one of these bastards, with multimillions of walking away money, in addition to the millions they have already been paid for tanking the greatest economy the world has ever known?

    Tell me this is a joke.

  18. cvienne says:

    They ought to herd all these guys into the same nice gated community…


  19. aupanner says:

    How quickly will another ex-Goldman employee be put in place?

  20. Vermont Trader says:

    one thing i noticed in early 2008 was all the retirements of executives who rode the wave all the way up.. people that i had know for years were quietly leaving.

    i’m seeing it again. fiserv middle/upper mgmt members who rode it out are moving on…

    and cashing out..

    how’s traffic BR? spiking at all?

  21. ZackAttack says:

    I wish he’d sing. You know it would never happen; he’d be Spitzered immediately, or found dead after he accidentally sat on a sharp stick 12 times.

    Things I’d love to see: Rakoff putting Bernanke and Paulson on the stand.

  22. Lugnut says:

    He’s the perfect illustration of the saying, “when your sitting at a poker andyou can’t figure out who the sucker is, that means it’s you”. He got played, hard.