Dan Sontag, the former head of Merrill’s brokerage business, learned that Bank of America had hired Sallie Krawcheck only a few minutes before the public announcement.
The news came as a shock to Sontag, who had assumed he would be consulted about potential new hires. Just weeks beforehand Sontag’s leadership ability was touted in the Wall Street Journal.
Sontag got the news from Bank of America president Brian Moynihan. It was a brief phone call that came during a meeting. Afterwards, Sontag felt stunned and almost speechless, one person said.
“He never saw it coming. There was no body language indicating this was in the works,” another person familiar with the situation said.
Obviously, Sontag was not happy to find he had been shoved down on the corporate totem poll. And while he didn’t raise a public fuss, he resigned very shortly afterwards. Even more than the effective demotion, it was the callous, last minute way Bank of America carried out the coup that really rankled.
We reported the outlines of this story earlier. It’s now been confirmed by an additional source close to the matter who asked not to be identified.
“These people and what they did, it’s just unprofessional,” the source said.
Attempts to reach Sontag were unsuccessful. We were told by one person that Sontag does not want to publicly criticise Bank of America but is privately pissed off about the way this went down.
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