As the article says: "One of Hall's strategies was to sell off the company's investment banking division and focus instead on core operations, increasing commercial and industrial lending along with mortgage revenues. The result: steadily declining loan loss reserves, increased net income, and a soaring share price that has put the company under review for a possible ratings upgrade by Moody's. And to cap off the turnaround, this year Regions Financial (RF, Fortune 500) paid off the $3.5 billion in TARP funding it received at the height of the financial crisis, freeing up its capital and positioning itself to make some useful acquisitions or dividend payouts." And RF was trading at $3 just 14 months ago. The fundamentals have improved and Hall is getting recognition, because it happened under his administration. Share price will rise when these fundamentals begin to lead to increased profits and dividends.
Hall did what he had to do, Im sure that if could have figured out a way to keep MK, he would have done so. That said, I think that the sale was poorly handled, although the price was probably all that could be had, it just made the Bank look bad, in my opinion. He is currently doing the right thing, making Regions a retail bank again. Doesnt take a rocket scientist to know that is what is needed, but in light of previous leadership he looks like a genius. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king".