Bank of America (BAC) has named longtime insider Brian T. Moynihan, previously the bank’s consumer banking head, as its next chief executive, ending eleven weeks of speculation about who would succeed outgoing CEO Kenneth Lewis.
The 50-year-old Mr. Moynihan, who has held senior leadership positions at Bank of America across virtually all business lines, will take over as CEO and join the board of directors following the retirement of Mr. Lewis on December 31, 2009.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this important company,” Moynihan said in a statement.
“We have everything we need at Bank of America to be the best financial services company in the world. What we need to do now is very simple. We need to execute.”
Moynihan’s pick on Wednesday followed several months of unsuccessful attempts by Bank of America Chairman Walter E. Massey, who led the search committee to find Mr. Lewis’ successor.
“Brian has been the top executive leading wealth management, corporate and investment banking and consumer banking. His work with international clients in our capital markets businesses has given him broad knowledge of and perspective on global financial services markets… Brian brings the right combination of knowledge, experience and leadership to achieve all of our company’s goals for the future,” BofA Chairman Walter Massey said in a statement.
The job for CEO came down to two internal candidates, according to a report by the WSJ. Gregory Curl, the other candidate, a trusted friend of Ken Lewis, was the chief risk officer at Bank of America who also was a strong candidate for the job.
Moynihan grabbed the job on Monday, says the Journal, when negotiations with a third candidate, Bank of New York (BK) chief Robert Kelly fell apart Monday because of differences over Kelly’s pay package and other issues.
Brian Moynihan, an Ohio-born lawyer, joined Bank of America in 2004 as president of Global Wealth and Investment Management, following BofA’s merger with FleetBoston Financial.
The 50-year-old Mr. Moynihan, who nearly left last year after disdainfully rejecting an offer to run Bank of America’s credit-card unit in Delaware, said Wednesday night that he will have his office in Charlotte and the bank will remain headquartered in Charlotte.