Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Stan O'Neal may face a revolt led by former top executives calling for his ouster.
Shares of the company had their biggest jump in five years Friday as speculation swirled that O'Neal's job was on the line. He lost the confidence of investors earlier in the week after Merrill posted a $2.24 billion third-quarter loss. That's the biggest amount in its 93-year history.
In the face of reports that O'Neal angered Merrill Lynch's board by initiating merger talks with North Carolina-based Wachovia Corp. without their knowledge, there is growing sentiment on Wall Street that his days are numbered.