The shareholders of the struggling Bank of America franchise may have stripped CEO Ken Lewis of his chairman title and replaced him with former Morehouse president, Walter Massey.
“President Massey will provide strategic leadership, sound judgment and integrity for one of America’s great financial institutions,” Morehouse’s current president Robert Franklin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in live webcam interview.
Massey’s promotion comes on the heels of Bank of America having challenges passing government stress tests, concerning their ability to bounce back in this failing economy. Although Massey has shown strong support for the decisions of Lewis, the proposal to split the CEO and chairman jobs passed 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, bank officials said.
Massey is a renowned physicist and former director of the National Science Foundation. As a graduate of Morehouse College in 1958 with a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics, Massey went on to attain his PhD in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1966. He served his stint as the ninth president of his alma mater from 1995 to 2007. His long list of accolades include serving as a board member to several of America’s leading corporations, including Bank of America, BP Oil, Motorola, and McDonalds.
According to the WSJ to live webcam interview, some corporate-governance experts criticized the selection of Massey as Bank of America Chairman. Mr. Massey, 71, has been on the board since 1998, has no professional banking experience and is nearing the board’s mandatory retirement age. “I don’t know what Mr. Massey will do,” said Charles Elson, director of the University of Delaware’s Center for Corporate Governance. “All I know is the track record of the board.”
“The board is full of people that [Mr. Lewis] put there,” added Dirk Jenter, an assistant professor of finance at Stanford University.
“That makes it difficult to remove Ken Lewis.” Directors involved in the early talks believed Mr. Massey would present a “positive image,” one person said. Massey will have plenty of time to devote to the task because he is retired. Some wonder if this is just a ploy by the corporation to receive financial sympathy from live webcam porn show in the “Obama era,” by having a revered older black man in the king’s chair.