Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan will keep his chairman post after a majority of shareholders backed the appointment Tuesday, outvoting critics who wanted to split the posts.
About 63 percent of shareholders of the second-largest US bank by assets voted to keep Moynihan as chairman, according to preliminary results announced by BofA at a special shareholder meeting.
"We are pleased our shareholders had the chance to express their views, and we appreciate their support to continue driving our company forward for them and for our customers and clients," Moynihan said.
Mike Mayo, a bank analyst at CLSA, had urged shareholders to vote to split the posts, citing a record of regulatory problems and executive turnover.
"The board needs an upgrade," Mayo said.
"There's an attitude of let the shareholders eat cake."
But other speakers at the meeting praised BofA and Moynihan for stabilizing the company after the 2008 financial crisis rocked the bank and most of the industry.
Tuesday's vote was a referendum on the board's decision in October 2014 to appoint Moynihan as chairman, ignoring a 2009 vote by a majority of BofA shareholders requiring the chairman to be an independent director.
Critics such as the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System said the 2014 appointment showed a disregard for shareholder wishes.
But BofA countered that the 2009 shareholder vote to keep the two posts separate had come at a low point in investor sentiment and that Moynihan had been a key player in righting the bank's course. The board also emphasized the benefits of having the flexibilty to pick its leadership.
In mid-morning trade, Bank of America shares were off 1.3 percent at $15.50.