Home Businesses Bank of America Revamps Leadership, but C.E.O. Plans to Stick Around

Bank of America Revamps Leadership, but C.E.O. Plans to Stick Around

Bank of America made sweeping changes to the company’s leadership Friday that elevated several executives, including three women, to senior jobs and all but guaranteed that Brian Moynihan, the chief executive, would remain at the helm of the nation’s second-largest bank for years to come.

The company promoted Alastair Borthwick, its current head of commercial banking in New York, to chief financial officer. It also gave more responsibilities to Dean Athanasia, who runs the consumer-banking division from Boston. Lauren Mogensen was elevated to general counsel.

Mr. Moynihan is 61, and the race to succeed him is likely to be a long one. Senior executives being groomed for top jobs typically need several years of experience helping to oversee all aspects of a company before they are deemed eligible to take the helm.

Mr. Moynihan signaled his intention to stick around: In a letter to staff, he said the new cohort of leaders will help him run the bank in accordance with a growth strategy he put in place in 2010 — when he took the chief executive job — “through its second decade, with me and with all of you.”

Mike Mayo, a banking analyst at Wells Fargo, said the changes were welcome, although given Mr. Moynihan’s plans, “this might go down as one of the longest bake-offs to be a C.E.O.” Mr. Mayo said that the “number of chefs in the kitchen at the top” could create issues, but added that it was “an opportunity to see the ability of the top executives to play well with others.”

Succession at Wall Street’s biggest banks is being followed closely as a generation of chief executives — some of whom have been in their jobs since before the 2008 financial crisis, or shortly after — approaches retirement age. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, is 65 and has been in the role since 2005. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have elevated younger executives, prompting more talk of succession. Jane Fraser took over as chief executive of Citigroup from Michael Corbat this year, becoming the first woman to run an American mega bank.

The reshuffle at Bank of America comes after key managers who helped steer the firm out of the financial crisis decided to retire or move on to jobs that were less focused on day-to-day operations. Anne Finucane, the bank’s vice chair and one of Wall Street’s most powerful women, and Thomas K. Montag, its hard-charging chief operating officer, are among those who will retire.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., was vilified for its role in the mortgage meltdown and paid $76.1 billion in fines in the decade after the crash, the most among the nation’s biggest banks. Mr. Moynihan took charge in 2010, restoring profits and leading efforts to rebuild its reputation. During his nearly 12-year tenure, Bank of America’s stock has risen 165 percent. Mr. Moynihan once joked at a university event that his doubters, who said he wouldn’t last as the chief executive, should have bought a lot of the company’s stock.

Credit…Nick Hunt/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images

Mr. Mayo admitted he had been one of the naysayers. “A little less than a decade ago, I thought that Brian Moynihan should be fired as C.E.O., but now I think he’s one of the best,” he said.

Some of the changes were immediate, while others will take place later this year. Among the other moves: D. Steve Boland, based in Charlotte, was promoted to chief administrative officer, and Aditya Bhasin was appointed chief technology and information officer. Wendy Stewart, who was picked to run commercial banking, and Holly O’Neill, who will lead retail banking, will report to Mr. Athanasia. The heads of the investment-banking and trading divisions, as well as wealth management, will stay in place.

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