Just the other day we found ourselves discussing what would become of John Thain now that he sold Merrill Lynch to Bank of America less than one year after taking the top job. Frankly, our bet was that Thain would move on, leaving the position of running the Merrill franchise to Greg Fleming, the firm’s president, or possibly Bob McCann, the powerful head of Merrill’s brokerage. Did Thain, who ran the New York Stock Exchange before taking over Merrill, really want to become someone’s underling?
The one difficulty we had with this scenario is that there aren’t many places left to go. As Wall Street institutions collapse and merge, the options for top executives become increasingly narrow. Turns out that Thain is planning on sticking around now that Ken Lewis is his boss. This morning Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, said Thain will become president of Global Banking, Securities and Wealth Management in the combined company once the merger is completed.
“I am delighted that John has agreed to join Bank of America,” Lewis said. “His experience and expertise will be invaluable as we put our two companies together and move forward as the premier financial services company in the world.”
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