Kenneth Lewis, outgoing chief executive of Bank of America Corp., will get no salary or bonus for 2009, according to people familiar with the matter, the biggest Wall Street name thus far to come under the thumb of the government's pay czar.
In fact, Lewis will have to repay B of A more than $1 million in salary he has already earned.
The move was demanded by Kenneth Feinberg, the Treasury Department's special master for compensation, and was agreed to by Lewis and the bank. Feinberg's rationale is based largely on the fact that Lewis will leave the firm with a package of retirement benefits and other stock awards worth between $69.3 million and $120 million, these people said.
A Bank of America spokesman said Lewis voluntarily agreed to the deal, which was finalized Thursday.
"Mr. Feinberg suggested that Ken Lewis should take no compensation for 2009. Mr. Lewis agreed. Mr. Lewis added that he felt it was not in the best interest of Bank of America for him to get involved in a dispute with the paymaster," the spokesman said.
But the pay czar didn't want the CEO to take any more money, and used his leverage over pay instead, people familiar with the matter said. Lewis' base salary for 2009 is $1.5 million.