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Exec Shakeup Impacts BofA Mortgage Chief

Barbara Desoer no longer reports to CEO

Sept. 6, 2011

By staff

The head of Bank of America Corp.'s quickly shrinking mortgage business no longer reports to the company's chief executive.

Seven months ago, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company said it was pulling troubled mortgage assets from its Bank of America Home Loans unit. The new unit handles loans modification, foreclosure programs and the resolution of residential mortgage representation and warranties repurchase claims.

But Bank of America Home Loans President Barbara Desoer maintained her direct-reporting relationship with BofA Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan.

That same month, the company said it would close its reverse-mortgage operations.

Last week, BofA disclosed plans to abandon its 1,400-employee correspondent business. The move is likely to cut BofA's originations in half.

On Tuesday, the bank unveiled a management reorganization that leaves the company with three operating units: individuals, companies, and institutional investors.

Tom Montag and David Darnell were named co-chief operating officers. Both report directly to Moynihan.

That leaves Desoer reporting to Darnell, who now oversees businesses serving individual customers and clients -- including the mortgage business.

Desoer, who remains president of the home loans unit, had at one time been considered as a contender for Moynihan's job.

But Desoer still came out better than Joe Price, president of global consumer and small business banking, and Sallie Krawcheck, president of global wealth and investment management -- who were both ousted.

"Removing a layer of operations management, aligning leaders with our customer groups, and simplifying the organization reflect the primary objectives of the Project New BAC, begun in April 2011," today's statement said. "These and other organizational improvements will eventually take effect across the consumer, home loans and support areas covered by phase I of New BAC, and are expected to result in significant expense reductions as the first phase concludes in coming weeks."

As many as 30,000 employees could ultimately be eliminated as a result of Project New BAC.

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