October 30, 2007 / 5:47 AM / 11 years ago

Merrill mulls naming non-executive chairman -WSJ

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch & Co Inc MER.N is considering naming a director as non-executive chairman on an interim basis, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The newspaper said an announcement is expected as early as Tuesday morning, adding that it’s unclear if the company will continue to be spearheaded in the interim by the management tier beneath Chief Executive Stan O’Neal.

O’Neal, who presided over the company’s widest quarterly loss caused by an $8.4 billion write-down in the third quarter, will likely be ousted from his post, according to published reports.

If Merrill does oust O’Neal, his company holdings, retirement benefits and severance package would easily top $200 million, regulatory filings show.

O’Neal’s resignation was held up on Monday by negotiations over terms of his departure, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with Merrill’s operations.

The stock rose 2 percent Monday to close at $67.42 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Justin Grant, editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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