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

Merrill's New CEO Hopes To "Make Things Better"

John Thain told CNBC that he sees his new job as CEO of Merrill Lynch as "an opportunity to make things better" after the largest U.S. brokerage firm suffered huge subprime-related losses that led to the resignation of former CEO Stanley O'Neal.

In an exclusive interview, Thain was upbeat about Merrill's prospects despite the recent losses, saying "the vast majority of Merrill's businesses are doing great, so the problems are really concentrated in a relatively narrow area, which is part of fixed income."

O'Neal resigned in late October after Merrill posted an $8.4 billion write-down for the third quarter. The write-down resulted in a $2.3 billion loss, the largest quarterly loss in the company's 93-year history.

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