O'Neal Steps Down

Merrill Lynch hunts for new CEO

Effective immediately, Stan O'Neal, chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. has decided to retire from the company. O'Neal joined the company 21 years ago and has been CEO since December 2002. The board of directors has elected Alberto Cribiore, managing partner and founder of Brera Capital--a global private equity firm, as interim non-executive chairman, according to a company statement. Cribiore, who has been a member of the Merrill Lynch board since 2003, will also chair a search committee that will identify and evaluate chief executive candidates from within and outside of the company.

"I have been very fortunate to spend the past 21 years at Merrill Lynch," said O'Neal, in a statement. "The company has provided me with opportunities that I never could have imagined growing up, culminating with my leadership of the company over the past five years...I'd like to thank all of my colleagues for their contributions and support of our mission and wish them the successful future they deserve."

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