Merrill chief Thain steps down after crushing losses
After crushing quarterly losses of 15.4 billion dollars, John Thain, the one-time head of Merrill Lynch, Thursday stepped down from head of the brokerage that was rescued by Bank of America in 2008.
Bank of America named Brian Moynihan to replace him, a top manager for the bank, dpa reported.
Thain negotiated Merrill's 50-billion-dollar sale to Bank of America in September, amidst the dizzying and urgent efforts to keep US financial institutions afloat amidst the plunging mortgage crisis.
The acquisition left Bank of America as the largest surviving US financial firm amidst autumn's banking debacle, but Merrill's losses of more than 15 billion dollars in the recent quarter forced Bank of America to ask for more government loans.
The takeover of Merrill became official on January 1.
In addition to the losses, Thain lost added credibility when he spent 1.2 million dollars to redecorate his offices, according to CNBC broadcaster - an affront to government demands that financial firms receiving bailout money not over-indulge their executives.
Moynihan, 49, ran global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America prior to the Merrill takeover, and had also served as president of global wealth and investment management.
Merrill had hired Thain from Goldman Sachs in late 2007 with a 15- million-dollar signing bonus, Bloomberg financial news service reported.