Bank of America Corp's
Known as the transition committee, the panel will be led by Bank of America Chairman Walter Massey. It includes four longer-serving directors who have survived the turnover of the last year, and two newer board appointees.
Some observers said the committee's composition signals a shift in the board, reconfigured this year under what was believed to be heavy pressure from Washington after the bank took $45 billion in federal bailout money.
The power structure has clearly shifted toward Boston, said Tony Plath, a University of North Carolina-Charlotte banking professor.
That could be a positive sign for the CEO candidacy of Brian Moynihan, head of Bank of America's consumer banking unit and a former FleetBoston executive.
Bank of America bought FleetBoston -- known for its Northeastern U.S. retail banking operations -- in 2004 for $47 billion.
Moynihan had already been prominent on a list of internal candidates to succeed Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, who on Wednesday announced that he would resign by year-end after coming under fire from prosecutors, politicians and some investors.
The four longer-serving committee members include Massey and three former directors of FleetBoston: Charles Gifford, Thomas May and Thomas Ryan.
The two recently-added directors on the committee are Donald Powell, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp chairman, and DuPont
Company spokesman Bob Stickler said the committee recognizes the need for speed in the process, but also wants to find the right replacement.
Ten directors have left the board over the last year, and six have been added. The board now has 15 members. Throughout 2009, the bank has been adding new directors with experience in the financial sector.
The CEO transition committee has not retained a search firm at this time and has no authorization to do so. Stickler said that could change as the search process unfolds.
(Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Matthew Lewis and John Wallace)