Under one scenario, as the Merrill Lynch deal neared closing, Bank of America would have ejected three of its own directors and installed three Merrill directors in their stead, according to the Financial Times. Charles "Chad" Gifford, who is leading the search committee for a new CEO, would have been one of the departing directors, the FT says.
The plan was ultimately shelved and a spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny its existence. However, Gifford was among the directors who initially opposed the hasty Merrill acquisition and showed reservations as the deal was coming to pass.
Gifford and a fellow director, Thomas May, testified before Congress last week about the Merrill deal. They avoided questions about the CEO selection process, which has been ongoing since current CEO Ken Lewis announced his retirement on Sept. 30.-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.
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