Then: President & CEO, Merrill Lynch
Now: Board of Directors, Alcoa
O'Neal is widely blamed for steering the firm into sub-prime loans, which resulted in $8 billion in losses in the summer of 2007. O'Neal walked away from Merrill Lynch with a severance package valued at $161.5 million and was replaced by John Thain. However, it didn't take long for O'Neal to get back into the business world, when in January 2008 he was named to the board of directors of Alcoa. In April 2009, he was also named to the board of American Beacon Advisors, an institutional investment advisory firm in Texas.