As Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan goes before the board this week to discuss the company's 2012 plan he does so with a brand-new strategy chief in tow — Thong Nguyen.
Moynihan elevated Nguyen to the post after the abrupt departure last month of Mike Lyons, an exit that took bank officials by surprise. Lyons was Moynihan's handpicked choice for the job and had become a key member of the CEO's inner circle, leading efforts to sell assets and cut costs. He also helped Moynihan with the stay-the-course strategy he is delivering to the board in meetings this week that began on Wednesday. Lyons and Moynihan first worked together at Providence, R.I.'s Fleet Financial Group in the early 1990s.
Nguyen's appointment was not announced publicly. A bank spokesman declined comment.
The shake-up is the latest of several big moves among top Bank of America executives this year. In September Moynihan ousted his wealth management and consumer banking chiefs and installed two other executives as co-chief operating officers. This year he also changed chief financial officers, chief risk officers and hired a new head of legal.
Like Lyons, Nguyen formerly worked for Fleet. He is also the latest of several Fleet executives to be elevated by Moynihan, who joined Bank of America after its 2004 purchase of the New England institution.
Nguyen also had sales, marketing and business-building jobs with General Electric, McKinsey & Co., and IBM before joining Bank of America in 2003. He and Moynihan worked together in the wealth management unit before Moynihan became CEO. Nguyen's last post before taking the strategy job was West Division Executive for U.S. Trust, a division that serves the bank's wealthiest clients.
In his new role Nguyen will report directly to the chief financial officer.