Daniel Sontag Leaving Bank of America

Chief Executive Officer at Bank of America Kenneth Lewis has been under pressure to shuffle leadership in the company, made several moves which could prove unwise, especially in the replacing of Daniel Sontag by Sallie Krawcheck.

A day after the announcement of the hiring of Krawcheck, Sontag said he’ll be leaving Bank of America, which a number of industry watchers consider a big blow to the company.

Sontag had been running the lucrative wealth-management unit for the Merrill Lynch division, which Krawcheck will now take over.

Word leaked of the decision of Sontag after a internal conference call with employees, where Sontag said he’d be leaving, while introducing Krawcheck.

“It’s a big blow for Merrill,” said Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants in White Plains, New York. “With all due respect to Krawcheck, she doesn’t have nearly the depth of experience in terms of nuts-and-bolts and retail.”

Krawcheck left Citigroup in September 2008 where she had been running their wealth management businesses. She also had previously held the position of chief financial officer before returning to wealth management.

In other moves by Lewis, he transferred Brian Moynihan to the consumer banking unit where he’ll run that, whereas he had been running the investment banking and wealth division. Also being named to lead the corporate and investment banking unit was Tom Montag.

While Keith Banks will continue to head the U.S. Trust and Columbia Management units, he is expected to leave after a transitional period of undetermined length. Bank of America is looking for a buyer for the Columbia Management unit in order to raise capital.

So far in 2009 over three dozen executives have left the banking giant, now including Sontag, who had been with the company for over 31 years and managed over 15,000 financial advisers.

Hopefully Kenneth Lewis isn’t indiscriminately dismissing good employees to satisfy the government sharks in order to justify using taxpayers money to bail them out.