MSNBC: Former Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain will resign from Bank of America, effective immediately.
Earlier, Bank of America’s shares fell sharply after a report that executives are meeting to discuss Thain’s future with the company.
A report on CNBC followed news that Merrill, which was about to report a $15.45 billion fourth-quarter loss, decided to move up its year-end bonuses, doling out cash just days before it was officially acquired by Bank of America on Jan. 1.
CNBC has also learned that Thain spent $1.22 million redesigning his office — including $35,115 for a "commode on legs" — when he became CEO of Merrill Lynch a year ago. Thain also paid his driver $230,000 for one years work, which included the driver's $85,000 salary and bonus of $18,000, and another $128,000 in over-time pay, documents show. Drivers of top executives are often paid about half that amount.
Such expenses would have followed $12.2 billion of net losses at Merrill in the second half of 2007 as writedowns on mortgages and other toxic debt began to mount. Thain became chief executive in December 2007.