Bank of America's board of directors today chose consumer banking chief Brian Moynihan to replace Ken Lewis as CEO on Jan. 1. Their pick of an internal candidate followed unsuccessful attempts to hire a star industry executive for the top job at the nation's largest bank. Those negotiations were stymied by restrictions imposed by government pay czar Kenneth Feinberg that would have forced an outsider to take a big pay cut this year.
The choice of Moynihan, 50, "draws to a close what is probably the executive search from hell," said Tony Plath, a finance professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. "They needed to find someone to end the drama so that the bank can get back to regular business, but at the same time I am surprised by their choice." (Read more Bank of America stories.)