Ken Thompson, Wachovia’s chief executive officer, is retiring at the request of the board of directors.


Lanty Smith, Wachovia’s current chairman, will replace Thompson as interim chief executive officer until the board of director’s search committee chooses someone to permanently fill the position.Ben Jenkins, current vice chairman and president of the general bank, will serve as interim chief operating officer.


All of the company’s staff functions will report to Smith, and the company’s four lines of business (general bank, wealth management, the corporate and investment, and capital management) will report to Jenkins.


Jenkins began working with First Union in 1971, prior to its merger with Wachovia, and has held many senior executive positions within it.


Smith became Wachovia’s non-executive chairman this past May, ending his eight-year role as lead independent director. He is also chairman of the executive committee and has served as a director since 1987.

The board believes a change in leadership will cultivate new energy for Wachovia, and enable it to attain its full potential.

The board appointed current Dallas Mayor Thomas Leppert chairman of the governance committee.  Before joining WaMu’s board in 2005 and serving for the governance, audit, and corporate relations committees, Leppert was chairman and chief executive officer of The Turner Corp.

The board also appointed Regina Montoya, who joined WaMu’s board in 2005, chair of the corporate relations committee.  Montoya is also chief executive officer of New America Alliance, and will remain a member of WaMu’s finance committee.

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