* Gregory Curl to replace Amy Woods Brinkley
* Brinkley, CEO Lewis 'mutually decided' change needed
* Another director resigns, third since April
* Bank's shares rise 5.9 percent
(Recasts; adds comment, paragraph 6)
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, June 4 Bank of America Corp (BAC.N)
is forcing out Chief Risk Officer Amy Woods Brinkley, after a
surge in credit losses led to a government bailout and an order
by regulators to raise $33.9 billion of capital.
The largest U.S. bank named Gregory Curl on Thursday to
replace Brinkley, 52, who it said joined the company in 1978
and has been in her current job since 2001.
Curl, 60, has also worked for the bank for 31 years, most
recently as global corporate strategic development and planning
executive. He will succeed Brinkley on June 30, and Brinkley
will retire from the bank this summer.
Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis has accepted $45 billion of
funds from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief
Program, including $20 billion in a January bailout to help the
Charlotte, North Carolina, bank absorb Merrill Lynch & Co.
In May, Lewis had said credit losses should take a "heavy
toll" over the next few quarters, after nonperforming assets
surged 41 percent in the first quarter to $25.74 billion.
"This is not a normal retirement," said Anthony Plath, a
finance professor at the University of North Carolina at
Charlotte. "There's something going on here that's related to
loan losses and the performance of the bank."
Bank of America has said it has raised close to $33 billion
of the $33.9 billion that federal regulators demanded after a
"stress test" of the bank's ability to withstand a potentially
"Ken Lewis and Amy mutually decided we needed a different
approach to risk management," spokesman Robert Stickler said.
"We're going into a much different environment, and we need to
adjust accordingly," He said management decided on the change,
without government involvement.
Separately, the bank said Robert Tillman, a former chief
executive of home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos (LOW.N),
resigned as a director on May 29. He stepped down three days
after the resignation of former lead director O. Temple Sloan,
a strong supporter of Lewis. Three directors have left since
Walter Massey, who became chairman when shareholders voted
in April to strip Lewis of that role, is leading a board
committee to seek directors with financial expertise.
Jonathan Finger, whose family owns the bank's shares and
campaigned against Lewis' and Sloan's re-election, said
replacing Brinkley appears to be a positive step.
"With the economy in the state it is in, Bank of America
needs to manage credit issues aggressively," he said. "It has
been too aggressive in going after market share."
Lewis said in a statement Brinkley has been "an essential
cornerstone of our company," while Curl "has the natural
ability to look at things, see both the upside and the
potential pitfalls, and then navigate the right course."
Stickler said Curl's focus will be on credit underwriting.
None of the executives was available for immediate comment.
Bank of America has two other women among its top 11
executives, according to its website.
Shares of Bank of America rose 66 cents, or 5.9 percent, to
close at $11.87 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis and Steve Orlofsky)