NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Alvaro de Molina explained his sudden resignation as CEO of GMAC Financial Services by saying it's time for the "next chapter" of his career. Whoever is writing that book shouldn't even bother to pen the words "Bank of America" ( BAC).
Despite the fact that De Molina's name has been bandied about as a contender to the throne at Bank of America, it seems absurd to expect him to be welcomed home to the place where he spent 17 years before defecting to GMAC. In fact, if Bank of America is smart, it will institute a no return policy. I know that may seem harsh -- and generally I think there can be value in employees who leave and come back with new experience and perspective -- but De Molina would be returning as damaged goods. He lasted less than two years at GMAC and is leaving in the middle of negotiations with the Treasury Department to get a third round of taxpayer-funded assistance. Coincidence? Of course, the Treasury Department is denying that it had anything to do with all this and GMAC is sticking to that story line as well. Insiders told the AP that GMAC's board asked De Molina to step down.
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GMAC's new boss, Michael A. Carpenter, explained it to the AP this way: "As the board looked forward, it decided that it really wanted some more strategic skills. It wanted more turnaround skills, more operations skills." Ouch. So Carpenter is basically saying that De Molina, the former CFO of Bank of America, isn't very good at strategy, turnarounds or operations. GMAC feels more comfortable with Carpenter, a former CEO of Citigroup's ( C) Global Corporate & Investment Bank unit. So what makes anyone think that De Molina would do any better back at Bank of America? Bank of America is a bigger business than GMAC, with greater challenges requiring turnaround, strategy and operational skill and even more delicate relations with its Treasury overlords. Whether or not you believe that the Treasury had anything to do with De Molina's departure from GMAC, you can be sure that no one will take the helm of Bank of America without the Obama administration's blessing. It doesn't take a seer to read the tea leaves on this one. --Written by Glenn Hall in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on
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