BofA Boss Reluctantly Bags Bonuses

Bridling at political pressure, Lewis nixes cash for top execs
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 7, 2009 8:37 AM CST
Kenneth Lewis, chairman, president, and CEO of Bank of America.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Despite being rankled by political pressure to forgo bonuses for himself and other top Bank of America execs, CEO Kenneth Lewis has asked the board to withhold bonuses for 2008, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company saw its stock fall 66% in 2008 and 3rd-quarter profits plunge 68%, and Lewis acknowledged it had not performed up to expectations.

Lewis informed employees of his decision in an email yesterday, saying, "We are a pay-for-performance company." BofA joins a growing cohort of underperforming financial companies withholding bonuses to top execs after receiving billions of dollars in federal aid. Wells Fargo remains the only major holdout, reports the New York Times.