CHARLOTTE, N.C. (
Bank of America
has not yet contacted two former executives thought to be potential candidates for its soon-to-be-vacant CEO job, according to a high-profile shareholder.
Longtime investor Jonathan Finger, who has been pressing the bank to pick an outside candidate, told
that neither Al deMolina nor Jim Hance have been contacted by the board. Both men had served as CFOs at Bank of America, Hance from 1998 until 2004. DeMolina succeeded him until the end of 2007, when he left to become CEO of GMAC Financial.
"We have been able to confirm that the board has not yet contacted either of these two qualified candidates -- both who are strongly supported by many large shareholders of B of A," Finger says in an email.
The race for the top spot has heated up since current CEO Ken Lewis announced his resignation on Sept. 30. The board has extended its deadline a few times, and as of Thursday afternoon had still planned to announce a replacement by Thanksgiving.
Finger, whose Houston-based firm Finger Interests owns over 1 million shares of Bank of America, has been a vocal critic of Lewis due to controversy surrounding the
deal. His firm helped lead the charge to oust Lewis from his role as chairman, and would like him to be replaced by an experienced outsider who can work well with regulators and manage a firm as large and diverse as BofA.
However, the board is also believed to be considering internal candidates Brian Moynihan and Greg Curl, who lead the consumer and small-business lending operations, and risk management, respectively. Finger has accused the board of putting up a farce by interviewing outsiders, but not seriously considering them.
He published a roster of 18 potential outsiders of his own, including some with experience at other banks like
On Thursday another surprise was thrown into the mix, when New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's name was initially floated. Though the former
CEO -- who lost his bid for re-election Nov. 3 -- downplayed speculation that he was considering the job, a source inside the bank told
on Friday that he is still in play. Corzine representatives have not responded to requests for comment.
"I think Mr. Corzine is a superior candidate to both Brian Moynihan and Greg Curl in terms of experience and leadership," said Finger. "He is not burdened with the regulatory and investigation issues surrounding Mssrs. Curl & Moynihan."
On Thursday, in response to detailed questions from
, Bank of America said it would not comment on speculation but that the board is actively considering both internal and external candidates.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York