Furthermore, the Journal story suggests what has long been assumed of Bank of America's board members: An impertinence toward outsiders whose views differ from theirs. Several directors have left or been replaced over the past year. However, some shareholders still fear that the board's close-minded attitude will prevent Bank of America from making any substantial changes even once Lewis is replaced.
The board itself appears to be fractured over the best way to go -- split over an inside vs. outside candidate, a Southerner vs. a Northerner, a dealmaker vs. a lawyer, an investment banker vs. a traditional banker, and so forth. It has already passed a few self-imposed target dates. Whatever candidate is ultimately chosen will need some sort of approval by regulatory charges as well.
Lewis is reportedly open to staying past his planned New Year's Eve exodus if necessary. Given the circumstances, and difficulty in finding a clone, the board may simply have to extend his life.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York