BofA meeting not as exciting as predicted
Posted on 29 Apr 2009 by Rhi Bowman
The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Rothacker reported, from inside Bank of America’s much publicized annual meeting via Twitter, that “Evelyn Y. Davis is in the house. She gives Ken Lewis her full support.” She even gave him a hug.
According to shareholders exiting Bank of America’s annual meeting, Evelyn Y. Davis talked more than “Teflon Ken.”
So who is Evelyn Y. Davis? Glad you asked.
She is widely known as a shareholder advocate, is a stockholder in at least 80 corporations and the editor of Highlights and Lowlights, a newsletter that covers corporate governance issues, like executive compensation. Rothacker also Tweeted, “Audience is drowning out Evelyn with clapping” and “The crowd is getting tired of speeches, but Lewis is staying patient.”
Shareholders exiting the bank’s Charlotte headquarters echoed Rothacker’s observations. One man said of Lewis, “He only grimaced twice, he just listened.”
The same man, who chatted with me while walking to his car and enjoying a smoke, reported another shareholder flew all of the way from San Francisco for the meeting and called for Lewis to step down after saying his airline ticket cost more than the BofA dividends he’ll receive this year. But, mostly, he said, everyone was very professional and the meeting was a big snooze.
Those looking for the excitement protesters bring will be disappointed to know the media on the street far outnumbered protesters for most of the morning. Hours after the protesters, shareholders, and board went home, the results of the incredibly close vote — 50.34 percent to 49.66 percent — were announced: Ken Lewis is no longer the chairman of Bank of America.
He does, however, remain president and CEO. Walter E. Massey will take over the position of chairman.
Shareholders narrowly voted at the bank’s annual meeting Wednesday to split the jobs following months of rancor over the Merrill Lynch acquisition. After the deal was sealed Jan. 1, Merrill Lynch reported $15 billion in fourth-quarter losses and it was learned that Bank of America had approved the early payout of billions of dollars in bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees.
Read the rest of this Associated Press, via MSNBC.com, article here.
Who is Walter E. Massey? Find out at Forbes.com.