Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Krawcheck: Bank of America's 'real center of power' in Boston

In a rare candid look at Bank of America's inner workings, former wealth and investment management head Sallie Krawcheck writes that the "real center of power was in Boston" and said she was never able to crack the inner circle under CEO Brian Moynihan.

She also describes a confusing corporate culture brought about by the bank's series of acquisitions.

Since being pushed out of Bank of America two years ago, Krawcheck has become a prolific writer and prominent voice in the business world. Her missives on the banking industry and corporate culture have garnered her more than a quarter-million subscribers on LinkedIn.

And her latest post on the networking site gives an intriguing glimpse into her time at Charlotte's big bank.

Exhibit A: Krawcheck writes that the "real center of power was in Boston," while she was based in New York. That meant Krawcheck wasn't privvy to the "meetings-before-the-meeting" or other bits of face time where the real decisions are made, she writes.

Krawcheck was a high-profile addition to Bank of America in 2009, when then-CEO Ken Lewis brought her on to shepherd the newly acquired Merrill Lynch and the bank's legacy wealth management division. When she was hired, Lewis told Krawcheck he'd be on board at least two more years, she writes. Instead, he announced his departure two months later. Moynihan, who lives in Boston, was named as his successor.

"This left me without the person who was most invested in my successful transition to the company, and with significantly changed marching orders," she writes. "While I asked (and asked and asked) for feedback on how I was doing, I lacked a real sponsor at the senior leadership table."

She also writes that the corporate culture at Bank of America was incredibly confusing as its leadership changed and the bank swallowed acquisitions that spread its executives across the country.

"I knew there was no real alignment of values when I found myself second- and third-guessing my comments in management team meetings before I made them," she writes.

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Anonymous said...

Boo-hoo. You didn't get the job done and got canned. Now go away.

CharlotteAppraiser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Am I doing a good job??? Oh pretty please, give me some satisfaction...Please, am I a good girl???"
What a sad puppy

Anonymous said...

She was a lifer at Citi and Citi sucked. Its not like Lewis sought her out as much as Obama pushed out the stockholders freshly elected Lewis (as CEO) and the BoD's and then going, ooops, who can we now find to come in and try to run the bank. Presto..Moynihan and a Charlotte HQ being run from Beantown.

Anonymous said...

Here’s what I took from the article: She was given a really great opportunity and failed. She didn’t have Lewis there to hold her hand and she didn’t know how to adapt and overcome an obstacle like that. She suffered from a lack of confidence, it showed she was weak and she got buried. But instead of taking ownership of the failure and learning from it, she has decided to blame it on someone else.

I feel like this is a reoccurring theme in our culture. We used to be tough minded people but now we’re a bunch of pansies who believe in entitlement and we become “victims” when things don’t go our way. I think this way of thinking is an effect of the large scale liberal movement over the past few years.

Anonymous said...

funny thing is, shes probably more accomplished than any of you bitter rubes

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I moved to this area in 2003 and started looking at the Observer comment section not long after that. What it has revealed to me over 10 years is an undercurrent in this area of a bunch of bully minded, ill mannered, mostly stupid malcontents who think everything is about being some degrade image of "tough". Their remarks are at best counter productive and at least cowardly. (as most bullies are) When I retire, in 5 years I certainly don't intend on hanging around here. Too bad, otherwise it's a pretty and clean city for the most part.

Anonymous said...

You guys are completely missing the point of what happenned. She is beyond competent. She is an awsome force in the financial world. But...she was part of the old team at BofA that was headed by McColl, Lewis, and the old board of directors who were primarily Southern, which Boston and NY hated. So when Hank Paulson, Sec. of Treasury and former CEO of Goldman Sachs, got the power to fire the old BofA board as part of the unwanted TARP deal, he used the opportunity to install Boston and NY guys at the top. All former southern management was from that point on muted. She was not part of the Northeastern banking club. THAT'S waht happenned. THAT'S why all the high=paying BofA jobs soon left Charlotte for Boston and NY. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

thanks "beyond competent" for a fresh voice of reason and intelligence. Maybe if more like you show up around here, I won't be in such a hurry to leave this area in 5 years. (surely many of the "tough guys" around here are dying off and becoming irrelevant, as they inevitably do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, "retire", don't let the ignorati bullies drive you out of this great Charlotte playground. The best is yet to come. Stick around and help make it happen sooner than later.

LeighCat said...

Old news! Forgive and move on.