Don McMullen, high-profile head of Wachovia Corp.’s capital management wing, will retire effective Dec. 31 and receive a $7.7 million cash buyout, the Charlotte Observer reports.

McMullen, 55, who is widely credited with developing First Union’ s and Wachovia’s wealth management units from the ground up, joined the former in 1995 and stayed on after it was purchased by the latter.

Replacing McMullen will be David Carroll, 47, who will be in charge of the group’s mutual fund and brokerage units starting the beginning of next year. Carroll, who is known as CEO Ken Thompson’s right-hand man when it comes to mergers, has coordinated the last three big Wachovia mergers. He has been with the company since 1981, and besides heading merger integration, he also runs the company’s corporate marketing group.

To allot for Carroll’s promotion, the company said the corporate marketing group will now report to Shannon McFayden, who directs Wachovia’s corporate and community affairs.

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