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Layoffs Watch '08: BAC

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30,000 to 35,000 heads to cut and they've got to start somewhere. Bank of America relieved some 20 high-ranking executives last week, apparently from the "band 1" layer of management, one rung below Mr. Banker of the Year. According to the Journal, some of the employees cast out on the street were "longtime loyalists" of CEO Ken Lewis, which apparently is supposed to indicate to skeptismos at Merrill Lynch that KL "won't necessarily act provincially as he absorbs a prominent New York securities firm."

Among those asked to leave at Bank of America, according to people familiar with the situation and internal bank communications, were deputy general counsel David Onorato; Helga Houston, a compliance and risk-management executive for global consumer and small-business banking; Lance Drummond, a senior e-commerce executive in charge of the Web site; Brad Dinsmore, head of consumer banking on the West Coast; Mark Ricci, a sales, service and integration executive; and Chris Swecker, hired in 2006 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to run the bank's corporate-security organization. Another was general counsel Tim Mayopoulos, who was succeeded by Brian Moynihan, most recently head of corporate and investment banking.

Earlier: Bank of America: There Will Be Layoffs