Ex-Morehouse president named Bank of America chairman
Morehouse College president emeritus Walter E. Massey has been named chairman of Bank of America, one of the nation’s three largest commercial banks.
The announcement came Wednesday after shareholders voted to create an independent chairman, ousting former chair Ken Lewis and leaving him as president and chief executive officer.
Massey, 71, was president of the Atlanta-based college from August 1995 to June 2007. He previously served on the Bank of America board from 1993 to 1998.
His ascension to chairman came as Lewis’ responsibilities were reduced by a slim margin in a vote by shareholders. The proposal to separate the CEO and chairman jobs passed 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent, bank officials said. The bank’s board of directors elected Massey chairman.
Massey wasn’t immediately available for comment, but Morehouse president Robert Franklin offered congratulations.
“President Massey will provide strategic leadership, sound judgement and integrity for one of America’s great financial institutions,” Franklin said.
Lewis, who had been the bank’s chair, president and CEO since 2001, acknowledged shareholders’ frustration over the company’s $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch and Co.