Bank of America Corp
The departures of Jackie Ward and Patricia Mitchell, both effective June 3, come as part of an overhaul to bolster the board's banking and financial expertise. It may also increase scrutiny by directors of Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, who was stripped in April of his role as chairman.
Ward is a retired chief executive of Computer Generation Inc, an Atlanta software company. She joined the board in 1994, and had been a target of critics as head of the board's asset quality committee. At the annual meeting, she received more votes against her reelection than all directors other than Lewis and lead director O. Temple Sloan, who has also resigned.
Mitchell is chief executive of The Paley Center for Media, and was previously chief executive of the Public Broadcasting Service. She joined the board in 2001 and sat on its compensation and benefits and corporate governance committees.
Last week, Bank of America announced the appointment of four new directors. Two are former regulators: Susan Bies, a former Federal Reserve governor; and Donald Powell, who chaired the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The others are D. Paul Jones, who ran Alabama's Compass Bancshares Inc, and William Boardman, a retired vice chairman of Chicago's Bank One Corp.
Lewis has run the bank April 2001, but has faced much shareholder anger over the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co, which led to a federal bailout in January.
The bank's shares closed up 20 cents at $12.06 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have lost about two-thirds of their value since September.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing Bernard Orr)