BUSINESS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Merrill CEO O'Neal Rumored To Have Angered Board With Merger Talk

Facing billions of dollars in losses from the subprime mortgage crisis, Merrill Lynch chairman and chief executive, E. Stanley O'Neal, floated the idea of a merger with a large bank, a foray that angered Merrill's board and could cost him his job, according to people close to the beleaguered Wall Street firm.

Mr. O'Neal broached the possibility of a merger with Wachovia, the bank based in Charlotte, N.C., without first getting the approval of Merrill's board, a major breach of corporate protocol at a time when directors were already concerned about the company's performance, these people said.

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