Farewell to Ken Lewis

1 Oct 2009

The Bank of America CEO has announced to his board that he plans to step down by the end of the year. The departure of Lewis will be an enormous loss for B of A.

For Bank of America this is bad. Lewis was a phenomenally good CEO, made a series of very strong positive decisions, including buying Merrill Lynch. I think it is a definite loss to Bank of America.

– Dick Bove, banking analyst at Rochdale Securities

But the situation reflects the sad state of affairs as business and politics have become increasingly and unsuccessfully intertwined.

Ken Lewis has been overly targeted in terms of how things played out. But the fact is, perception is reality in these situations.

– Walter Todd, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates

There was no one better suited to lead B of A going forward. Lewis is a mortgage guy and B of A’s segment with the most potential for growth will be the artist formerly known as Countrywide. The alignment of the government and short-sighted asset managers in this situation have done a terrible service to the rest of us shareholders, running one of the nations best CEO’s out of town. They should be spending their time targeting the real criminals like Dick Fuld, Chuck Prince, Maurice Greenberg, Martin Sullivan, James Cayne, Alan Schwartz and Christopher Cox. But alas, I’m sure that would be too easy.