Even as Bank of America's latest executive shuffle raised more questions about an already puzzling company, one thing did become clear: the hiring of former Citigroup Inc. executive Sallie Krawcheck and the abrupt departure of veteran Liam McGee has kicked off a five-candidate race to succeed president and chief executive Kenneth D. Lewis.

Brian Moynihan, who is replacing McGee as the head of consumer banking, is viewed by outsiders as the favorite to replace Lewis, due to the wide range of posts he has held since joining the company via its 2004 purchase of FleetBoston Financial Corp.

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