Lewis ousted from BoA chair

Ken Lewis, chief executive and president of Bank of America, was voted out as chairman of the firm at a shareholders' meeting on April 29.

At the meeting, 50.34% of shareholder votes were cast in favour of the bank appointing an independent chairman. Despite this, Lewis was unanimously supported by the board in his role as chief executive and president of the firm.

Meanwhile, Walter Massey, a director of Bank of America, was appointed as the bank's new chairman. He has previously served on the boards of a number of blue-chip companies and also serves as a director at fast-food giant McDonald's.

The move comes as a slap in the face to Lewis after last year's poor results and the botched takeover of Merrill Lynch, which required $20 billion of additional capital from the US Treasury to complete.

In a speech, Lewis acknowledged 2008 was a "difficult year", adding the bank's shareholders had "carried a heavy burden".

The company's full-year profit in 2008 was just over a quarter of 2007 levels, at $4.01 billion. On April 20, however, it announced a net income of $4.2 billion, an increase from $1.2 billion during the same period in 2008.

The firm has been caught up in recent rows about banking sector excesses, which saw the departure of former Merrill Lynch chief John Thain. He was set to become head of global banking, global wealth and investment management at the combined firm, but was forced to resign in January.

See also: Thain departs BoA within a month of merger
Merrill loses investment banking head

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