Two large advisory firms for institutional investors recommended on Friday that shareholders vote to oust Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis as chairman of the bank.
In the latest fallout from Lewis' $50-billion takeover of loss-drenched Merrill Lynch & Co., the investor advisors RiskMetrics Group and Glass Lewis & Co. also supported a shareholder proposal to require different people to hold the posts of chairman and CEO at BofA.
Both firms opposed the reelection of several board members in addition to Lewis, including lead director O. Temple Sloan. Glass Lewis said Sloan "undeniably failed" in his role, largely because he did not warn of huge potential losses at Merrill before the acquisition went to a shareholder vote last December.
A bank spokesman said Lewis and Sloan would not comment on the "vote no" campaigns against them. Shareholders will vote at Bank of America's annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on April 29.