Deadlines come and deadlines go without a taker for the Worst Job on Wall Street. Bank of America's board of directors is running through CEO candidates faster than Charlie Gasparino goes through creatine, but it doesn't seem able to take a hint.
Already coming up with precious few names interested in succeeding the inimitable (and, according to the since-silenced Dick Bové, irreplaceable) Ken Lewis, the finely-honed machine that is the BofA board can't help but drive away the ones it finds who don't put out press releases making clear they don't want the goddamned job. When two prospective told the board that Ken's Kingdom needed to be cut down to size, the board broke out in hives, began sobbing collectively and had security remove the offending presence from the greater Charlotte area.
What does Michael O'Neill know anyway? Sure, he ran Barclays pretty well, but now he's on the board of Citigroup. Who the hell is he to tell us that our bank is not only too big to fail, but too big (among other things) to succeed?
"Every conversation I've ever had would indicate they believe the model is the right model," BofA flack Bob Stickler said of the bank's board. "They are looking for somebody who can execute against the model," no matter how impossible or ill-advised that model may be.
On the bright side (for the Bovéists, anyway), Ken Lewis doesn't have any plans once he steps down at the end of the year. He's hinting he'd be willing to stick around if the board can't find someone, somewhere to take the job.
BofA Breakup Is New Snag in CEO Hunt [WSJ]