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Wachovia board forces out CEO Ken Thompson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Wachovia’s board of directors has asked Chief Executive Ken Thompson to retire.

Thompson will be replaced on an interim basis by Lanty Smith. Smith currently serves as chairman of Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia Corp.

Smith has been chairman since early May, when the national bank decided to separate the chairman and chief executive positions.

Thompson has been under fire from shareholders because of recent losses at the bank tied to deterioration in the credit and lending markets.

Wachovia says there was “no single precipitating event” that led to Thompson’s ouster.

Wachovia shares are down 1.7 percent in premarket trading.

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