Andrea Smith retiring, Bessant to Europe as BofA shakes up leadership

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Bank of America announced a big management shakeup that will lead to departures of the last two senior-level executives with deep roots in Charlotte, where the bank is officially headquartered.

Cathy Bessant is moving to Europe to become vice chair of global strategy. She has been the chief technology and operations officer for 12 years.

Andrea Smith is retiring after 34 years, most recently as chief administrative officer.

Bessant and Smith have been key civic leaders in Charlotte for many years. Both were top leaders when CEO Ken Lewis led the bank from 2001-09  with an executive team largely centered in Charlotte. Now BofA leadership is scattered across the nation, but with most senior executives based in New York or Boston. It is the second-largest U.S. bank behind JPMorgan Chase.

The moves were part of a series of changes described in this letter to employees from CEO Brian Moynihan, who succeeded Lewis.

Among the other key moves:

  • Dean Athanasia was given additional responsibility for oversight of global commercial banking and business banking, as president of Regional Bank. He joined the company in 1996.
  • D. Steve Boland, who is based n Charlotte, was named chief administrative officer, overseeing local markets, Public Policy, Environment, Social & Governance efforts, Corporate & Internal Communications, External Communications, Global Sports Sponsorships, Corporate Security, and other related functions.
  • Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio is becoming a vice chair for sustainable finance. His successor is Alastair Borthwick, who has been president of global commercial banking for nine years.
  • Aditya Bhasin was named to replace Bessant as chief technology officer. He has been chief information officer. He is based in Charlotte and joined BofA in 2004 as a strategy and planning executive.
  • Tom Scrivener was named chief operations executive. He will be in charge of integrated operations solutions for all lines of business. He has been head of consumer, small business and wealth operations.
  • Lauren Mogensen will become global general counsel, replacing David Leitch, who is retiring in 2022. She joined the bank in 2001.

The changes set the table for a potential successor to Moynihan, 61, who is expected to remain at the helm of the giant bank for several years. Athanasia and Borthwick are considered likely successors by many industry observers.

Business line leaders at the bank will be:

  • Jim DeMare, president of Global Markets
  • Matthew Koder, president of Global Corporate and Investment Banking
  • Andy Sieg, president of Merrill Lynch Wealth Managemen
  • Raul Anaya, president of Business Banking
  • Wendy Stewart, president of Global Commercial Banking (replacing Alastair Borthwick)
  • Katy Knox, president of BofA Private Bank
  • Holly O’Neill, president of Retail Banking (replacing Steve Boland)
  • Aron Levine, president of Preferred Banking


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