October 2, 2009

Bank of America forms CEO search committee

U.S. financial giant Bank of America said it formed a search committee to find a replacement for beleaguered Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis.

Lewis announced he would retire Dec. 31, at the end of what turned out to be a year of controversy that began with the purchase of struggling Merrill Lynch.

Months later, a federal judge in New York refused to sign off on a $33 million settlement Bank of America agreed to pay, while admitting no wrongdoing, for allegedly keeping secrets from its shareholders about the extent of Merrill Lynch's losses and a deal to pay Merrill Lynch employees billions in bonus checks despite those losses.

The search committee is composed of six people. The Wall Street Journal reported three of the six -- Charles Gifford, Thomas May and Thomas Ryan -- are close to Brian Moynihan, the head of the bank's consumer businesses and a leading candidate to replace Lewis.