E*Trade Financial, stung by mortgage- and mortgage-backed securities market losses, is adding CEO to chairman Donald Layton's duties. The company may be dolling itself up for a possible sale by polishing its tarnished image, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since Layton, 57, became chairman in November, the brokerage has rebounded from a $1.7 billion fourth-quarter loss.
"Their image has been dinged, they've lost some business and now they're faced with having to turn around the company," a trader who recently left E*Trade told Bloomberg. Shares rose slightly on the news but have fallen 13% since November, when Citadel Investment Group pumped $1.75 billion into the near-bankrupt brokerage. Possible purchasers include rivals Ameritrade and Schwab.