After being demoted twice last year, Barbara Desoer has decided to retire from her position as head of home loans at Bank of America, the Wall Street Journal reports.She’s leaving quickly too. In a memo sent yesterday, she informed employees that she would be gone this month.
This is just another example of the dramatic changes going on at Bank of America. In 2009, Forbes named Desoer one of the most powerful women in the world and when former CEO Ken Lewis was leaving that year, Desoer’s name was tossed around as an option for the bank’s new Chief Exec. Lewis had assigned her to run the mortgage business after Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008.
But obviously, Desoer didn’t become CEO, and since the 2009 shuffle, her role has been reduced substantially. She has stopped reporting directly to CEO Brian Moynihan, lead the integration of the bank’s home loan division into consumer and small business banking, and participated in the decision to allow the bank to give up its top spot in the mortgage market.
It’s basically impossible not to compare Desoer’s situation with that of former wealth management head Sallie Krawcheck (who also left the Bank of America after her position was terminated) Like Krawcheck, Desoer hasn’t ruled out a return to finance. The question is where and when.