Ken Lewis, Bank of America Corp.'s chief executive officer and president, announced today that he has notified the Board of Directors of his decision to retire, effective December 31, 2009. The Board will continue ongoing planning to ensure his successor is selected by that date. Lewis will retire as CEO and as a director.
"Bank of America is well positioned to meet the continuing challenges of the economy and markets," said Lewis. "I am particularly heartened by the results that are emerging from the decisions and initiatives of the difficult past year-and-a-half."
"The Merrill Lynch and Countrywide integrations are on track and returning value already," Lewis noted. "Our board of directors and our senior management include more talent, and more diversity of talent, than at any time in this company's history. We are in position to begin to repay the federal government's TARP investments. For these reasons, I decided now is the time to begin to transition to the next generation of leadership at Bank of America."
"Ken Lewis was a key architect in building a truly global financial franchise," said Walter E. Massey, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "We are on a solid path to the future. The board will be moving in a deliberate and expeditious manner to select a worthy successor to Ken Lewis."
On August 3, Lewis, 62, announced changes to his executive management committee that increased the depth, range and diversity of experience of Bank of America's leadership team. Lewis noted that "these changes also position a number of senior executives to compete to succeed me at the appropriate time."
In a message today to Bank of America associates, Lewis thanked them for the opportunity to lead. "In 1969," Lewis wrote, "I chose to come here because of the culture and the people. We believed that with trust and teamwork, anything is possible. We remain that company today."