In one of its first acts, the board of the new BankAmerica Corp. has asked chairman and chief executive officer Hugh L. McColl Jr. to stay two years past his planned retirement date of June 30, 2000.
Mr. McColl agreed, BankAmerica said Wednesday, a week after president David Coulter announced he would leave the bank effective Oct. 30.
Mr. Coulter's resignation followed the company's disclosure of $372 million in third-quarter chargeoffs for an unsecured $1.4 billion loan to the New York hedge fund operator D.E. Shaw & Co. Mr. Coulter had been the key architect of BankAmerica's relationship with D.E. Shaw.
BankAmerica also reported heavy trading losses for the period and a 78% profit drop.
Mr. Coulter had been Mr. McColl's designated successor to lead the new company, which was formed Sept. 30 from the merger of San Francisco-based BankAmerica and NationsBank Corp. of Charlotte, N.C.
BankAmerica spokesman Robert Stickler said the move to extend Mr. McColl's tenure was made "to assure stability going forward in light of weakening global economic conditions that we'll be working through."
In a prepared statement, the 63-year-old Mr. McColl said he was happy to stay longer than planned because he and other BankAmerica executives are "committed to working together to build America's bank. This will allow us to keep our team together."
R. Harold Schroeder, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, said the action was not surprising.
"There has been enough turmoil that I'm sure at least several of the board members would feel more comfortable not changing captains in mid- storm," Mr. Schroeder said.
BankAmerica's stock fell $5.875 on Oct. 14, the day of its earnings announcement, to $48.0625. It closed at $54.875 Wednesday, up 93.75 cents.
Also Wednesday, the BankAmerica board voted to increase the company's quarterly dividend by 7 cents to 45 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 23 to shareholders of record Dec. 4.
The board also declared a $1.75 cash dividend and a 62.5 cent- dividend on two preferred stock issues.