Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain has been named chairman and CEO of CIT Group, effective immediately. CIT, the small business lender which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection, is reportedly counting on Thain to position the company as a commercial lender.
He left Bank of America in January of last year amid outrage over the deal and bonus controversy as well as reports of lavish spending, including reports that he had spent $1.22 million in early 2008 to redecorate his office at Merrill. CIT said Thain was the right leader to head the company as it transitions into becoming a "more streamlined commercial lender."
Thain helped broker a deal leading to Bank of America's purchase of Merrill Lynch in 2008, but was pushed out of his position in January 2009.