Make us your home page

Wachovia ousts CEO Ken Thompson

During Ken Thompson's tenure as chief executive, Wachovia Corp. morphed into the fourth-largest bank in the country and topped Bank of America to become Florida's biggest bank.

But in forcing Thompson, 58, to step down, the board of the Charlotte, N.C., megabank came to grips with recent history: a series of problems that forced the company to cut its dividend and caused the stock to lose half its value.

Lanty Smith, who replaced Thompson as chairman last month, will serve as interim chief executive during the search for a new CEO.

"A series of previously disclosed disappointments and setbacks cumulatively have negatively impacted the company and its performance," Smith said.

Among those setbacks: paying $25-billion for home lender Golden West Financial Corp. at the height of the housing bubble. So far Wachovia has had to set aside $2.8-billion to cover losses with problem loans.

Separately, the board of Washington Mutual also took action against that company's controversial CEO Monday, stripping Kerry Killinger of his chairman title.

"The boards of directors of these institutions, which are notably antishareholder, are finally recognizing that they cannot ignore the shareholder demands any longer," said Richard X. Bove, Lutz-based financial strategist with Ladenburg Thalmann.

"You're not going to shift the loan portfolio as rapidly as you can shift the management team," Bove said.

Helen Huntley can be reached at or

(727) 893-8230.


recent miscues

•Paying too much for Golden West Financial Corp. and ending up with a bunch of risky mortgage loans

•Allowing telemarketers to use its accounts to bilk the elderly

•Making bad deals on lease transactions

Wachovia ousts CEO Ken Thompson 06/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2008 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]