About 850 shareholders gave Richard M. Rosenberg a standing ovation as the now-retired chief executive handed the chairman's gavel to his successor, David A. Coulter, at BankAmerica Corp.'s annual meeting last week.

Mr. Coulter, who had succeeded Mr. Rosenberg as chief executive Jan. 1, used his first speech to shareholders as the company's chairman to praise his predecessor.

Mr. Coulter said Mr. Rosenberg had more than doubled BankAmerica's assets through a series of bold acquisitions, which have been both lauded and criticized by stock analysts.

"Here's what the numbers show," Mr. Coulter said. "Revenue increased 109% between 1990 and 1995. After adjusting for a tax credit we received in 1990, net income increased more than 200%, and earnings per share increased 69%."

Mr. Coulter also said that market capitalization in that period had more than tripled.

Mr. Rosenberg fielded a handful of prickly questions from shareholders about such things as putting more women on the board of directors.

But no one criticized his job performance, and many shareholders praised him.

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