Bank of America has appointed an insider as the successor to Ken Lewis as chief executive. The bank's board late on Wednesday night announced the appointment of Brian Moynihan as the top boss. Moynihan, a company veteran, was this fall appointed as head of consumer and small business banking of Bank of America.

He had also done several other stints in the bank as the general counsel and head of wealth management and investment banking. The new role would round out his resume as far as the banking functions he has held.

Moynihan was picked to run the investment bank in January after former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was fired from the post.

Analysts have mixed opinion about his choice. Investment Dealers' Digest quotes Anthony Polini, an analyst at Raymond James Associates, as saying that Moynihan "is a very capable guy" while another observer Gary Townsend, the CEO of Hill-Townsend Capital, who said Moynihan did not have retail experience. "We need someone with instantaneous credibility who is strong in retail banking. Moynihan is in that job now but he has only been there for six months," Townsend has been quoted as saying.

Moynihan is said to be close to the outgoing CEO Ken Lewis, and his choice seems to have endorsed the business model adopted by Lewis and his predecessor Hugh McColl Jr. all this long. 

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