Merrill Lynch Sizes Up Potential CEOs

With O'Neal headed for exit, list of possible successors grows
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2007 4:49 PM CDT
A Merrill Lynch office is seen in York, Pa., Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. Merrill Lynch & Co. took a $7.9 billion writedown because of the summer's credit crisis, a bigger-than-expected amount that raised...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With Stan O'Neal all but ousted after an $8.4 billion writedown mostly on subprime loans and an overture to Wachovia, Merrill Lynch is on the hunt for a new chairman and CEO. Candidates include BlackRock's Larry Fink, NYSE Euronext's John Thain, and in-house contender Robert McCann, Reuters reports. Sources tell CNBC O'Neal will be gone this weekend.

Speculation about O'Neal's departure worked wonders on Merrill shares, which soared 5.19% to $66.09. Fink is considered one of the top bond managers in the US; Thain is a former Goldman-Sachs co-president; McCann, who directs the 16,610 Merrill Lynch brokers, has been hauling in record profits.