Bank of America Corp. has replaced Andrew Gissinger 3rd, the former No. 3 executive at Countrywide Financial Corp., with a longtime executive of the Charlotte company.

The switch reinforced B of A's reliance on a cadre of insiders to lead the integration of Countrywide, the mortgage lender it acquired in July for $2.5 billion.

Mr. Gissinger had been put in charge of several B of A groups that sell mortgages to consumers. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

His successor, Craig Buffie, "is the most qualified" to help lead the integration of Countrywide into B of A, a company spokesman said Tuesday. Mr. Buffie, who has worked at B of A for 24 years, is a member of its management operating committee and previously was a senior human resources executive.

On Monday three other former Countrywide executives left B of A's mortgage operation, including Brian Hale, who had led the consumer markets division at the Calabasas, Calif., company.

Countrywide's No. 2 executive, David Sambol, initially was selected to run B of A's mortgage business after the purchase. In May, though, Kenneth Lewis, B of A's chairman and chief executive officer, put Barbara Desoer atop the unit.

Ms. Desoer, who moved to Countrywide's former headquarters, is seen as a potential successor to Mr. Lewis.

Despite the exits, former Countrywide executives represent "at least" half of Ms. Desoer's leadership team, the spokesman said. "They are clearly viewed as long-term players on the team."

Tom Gamache and Russ Smith, also former Countrywide executives, were promoted.

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