Wachovia Corp., the nation's fourth largest bank, has named former Treasury Undersecretary Robert Steel chief executive.
"I'm just excited to be here at Wachovia and it's a real privilege and honor to have this type of responsibility," said Steel, according to the Associated Press. "I can tell you we are going to work through the challenges in a very deliberate and focused fashion."
But excitement over the news could not keep Wachovia from overcoming disappointing earnings figures. The Charlotte-based bank said it could post a second-quarter loss of $2.8 billion as mortgage-related losses continue to pile up, adding that it had set aside $4.2 billion pretax to cover bad loans for the quarter.
"Wachovia expects to report an after-tax loss available to common stockholders of 2.6 to 2.8 billion dollars," the bank said, according to AFP. The bank plans to release second-quarter earnings on July 22.
Wachovia said it planned to pay Steel a $1.1 million annual salary, plus a bonus of up to $12 million. The bank could pay Steel an additional $15 million if he meets long-term incentives.
Steels takes over as C.E.O. after Wachovia's month-long search to replace Ken Thompson, who was shown the door after a series of miscalculations, including the purchase of Golden West Financial in 2006 for roughly $25 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Steel, a former employee of Goldman Sachs Group, has been a key liaison between the Bush administration and Wall Street since 2006. He is also a native of Durham, N.C., and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Duke University.