BankAmerica Corp. on Wednesday named Kenneth D. Lewis president, succeeding David A. Coulter, who resigned Oct. 30.

Mr. Lewis, 51, is president of BankAmerica's consumer and commercial banking group. He will retain that position, the Charlotte, N.C., banking company said.

The appointment makes Mr. Lewis the heir apparent to chairman and chief executive officer Hugh L. McColl Jr., who is expected to retire in 2002, observers said.

Mr. Coulter resigned after the company disclosed a $372 million chargeoff for an unsecured loan to New York hedge fund operator D.E. Shaw & Co. Mr. Coulter had been the key architect of BankAmerica's relationship with D.E. Shaw.

Mr. Coulter also had been designated successor to Mr. McColl to lead the $618 billion-asset company, which was formed Sept. 30 from the merger of San Francisco-based BankAmerica and NationsBank Corp. of Charlotte.

Mr. Lewis was president of NationsBank before the merger. He joined the bank in 1969, and has served as president of its Florida and Texas operations.

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