Lewis to Exit BofA

Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America Corp. CEO and president, announced he will resign by year-end.

Bank of America said the bank’s board will search for a successor, with plans to name that successor by the time Lewis leaves.

Criticized for his handling of the Merrill Lynch acquisition (see “Bank of America Buys Merrill Lynch“) , Lewis had also come under fire in trying to finalize a settlement with the SEC over bonuses paid to Merrill executives (see “It’s a No-Go for BofA Settlement with SEC” and “BofA Fires Back at Cuomo“).

“The next great set of challenges for our companyexecuting across our businesses to achieve our potential, and imagining how our company must continue to evolve to meet the changing demands of the global marketplaceare for our next chief executive officer, and for our executive management team, which I know is capable of rising to any challenge. I now have a strong sense that the work that has consumed me for the past eight years is largely finished, and that it is time for a new leader to take on new challenges with all of you,” Lewis wrote in a letter, published by The Wall Street Journal.