BofA to give former head of Merrill Lynch a major role

Bank of America Corp. this morning said Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive John Thain will have a major role in the combined company to be created by the merger of the two financial giants.

Bringing on Thain, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive and New York Stock Exchange chief executive, adds a major player in the hunt to eventually succeed Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, who at 61 faces mandatory retirement in four years.

The Charlotte bank also outlined an ongoing role for Brian Moynihan, the current head of corporate and investment banking who will cede his post to Thain. He has been seen as a rising star in the company, so finding a new role for him was significant.

Bank of America spokesman Jim Mahoney said Thain's new role doesn't mean he has been tapped as the bank's next CEO. "There is no commitment regarding succession," he said. "He will be a key member of Ken Lewis’ management team."

Read the complete story at