In-House Counsel

Bank of America’s 44-Day GC Gets Chief Executive Job

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The former general counsel of Bank of America has been chosen as its new chief executive.

Brian Moynihan, 50, was chosen late Wednesday, according to stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). He joined Bank of America in 2004 when it acquired FleetBoston Financial Corp. and most recently led its consumer banking business. His pay will be determined later, the Wall Street Journal says.

Moynihan was named general counsel of Bank of America after GC Timothy Mayopoulos was ousted shortly before the bank’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Mayopoulos had advised there was no legal basis to back out of the Merrill deal—advice that was contrary to later assertions by the bank that led to an additional $20 billion in bailout funds.

Moynihan served as GC for just 44 days.

The board selected Moynihan after trying, unsuccessfully, to interest an outsider in the job. Another internal candidate, Gregory Curl, is a potential target in an investigation of the Merrill acquisition by the New York attorney general, the Times says.

Moynihan told the Wall Street Journal he doesn’t intend to shed any of the bank’s current businesses or to change strategy. “We just have to execute,” he said.

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