Just how close is Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis to losing his job? With Citigroup (C) chief executive Vikram Pandit reportedly in the government's crosshairs, Lewis may find himself the next target for regulators seeking to shake up troubled banks' corner offices.
Lewis has already lost one job in recent months: He was Bank of America's chairman until shareholders stripped him of that position at the company's annual meeting in April. He was replaced by board member Walter Massey, former president of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
The board shake-up has showed little sign of slowing. Four new directors will join, Bank of America announced today. All four have served as bank executives, and two -- Susan S. Bies, a former Federal Reserve governor, and Donald E. Powell, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- also have experience as regulators.
The additions increase scrutiny on Lewis, who has drawn fire for Bank of America's woes, The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon.
While "not imminent," an unnamed source told the Journal, Lewis's departure may already be in the cards. Regulators are asking Massey to consider a succession plan, the source said.
Shareholders voted to re-elect the company's entire 18-member board two months ago. But Lewis and other board members faced stiff opposition from many investors in the company, including CalPERS, the giant pension fund for California state employees.
But Bank of America has taken $45 billion in investments from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program and has been ordered to raise billions more in the wake of the Fed's stress tests of bank balance sheets. That puts another big shareholder at the table: Uncle Sam. Increasingly, his vote is one that Lewis seems unlikely to win.
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