Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is getting another title: chairman of the board.
This is Bank of America’s way of saying, “Hey, we’re back to business as usual.” It’s unusual for a bank’s CEO to not also be its chairman.
During the financial crisis, CEOs of the biggest banks were stripped of the chairman title when shareholders didn’t like the way they handled the crisis.
In 2009, Bank of America shareholders voted to take the chairman role away from then-CEO Ken Lewis. They were punishing him for his decision to acquire Merrill Lynch at the height of the crisis, and then give bank executives huge bonuses.
But there’s going to be somebody looking over Moynihan’s shoulder.
Jack Bovender will become the bank’s lead independent director. The bank’s press release announcing Moynihan’s promotion describes Bovender’s role in great detail. He’ll approve information sent to the board, and he will plan the board’s agenda with Moynihan.
So, it’s back to normal, with a few checks and balances.