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B of A's Bureaucracy

October 26, 1986

How appropriate for the board of directors of Bank of America to now preside over the picking apart of what was once one of the most respected financial institutions in the world. Its decline really began more than 10 years ago with the gradual departure of young, up-and-coming, potential senior management types who grew tired of waiting for increased authority and unkept promises of financial reward during the A. W. Clausen era. By the time the great savior Samuel H. Armacost arrived, most of the talent was gone and his decentralization techniques gave increased authority to what was left, thus creating the massive loan problems of today.

The board of directors has failed to assign responsibility for the increased operating losses to the proper parties. Now, in its infinite wisdom, the board has chosen to reward incompetence with huge "golden parachutes." Stockholders, rise up and tell the board that you have had enough. Claire Giannini Hoffman was an early pioneer in recognizing good people-management techniques. It's too bad that more people didn't listen to her when senior management and board members were chosen.

GERRY BECKERS

Visalia

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