Magazine article American Banker

1st Bank Gives a Vice Chairman Heave-Ho - for Second Time

Magazine article American Banker

1st Bank Gives a Vice Chairman Heave-Ho - for Second Time

Article excerpt

William Farley was considered a hero among some First Bank System Inc. employees in 1988 when he challenged then-chairman and chief executive D.H. Ankeny over risks associated with the company's bond investments.

For his combativeness, Mr. Farley was fired, only to be rehired when John Grundhofer took the chief executive's job at the Minneapolis banking company two years later.

But last week First Bank sent the 52-year-old vice chairman packing a second time.

A bank spokeswoman said he would not be replaced. Mr. Farley's duties will be divided between vice chairmen Philip Heasley, who heads retail and technology products, and Richard Zona, who was chief financial officer.

Mr. Zona will now be responsible for private financial services and business banking, while Mr. Heasley will take over the company's branch system, its consumer banking, and its small-business sales and services.

The title of chief financial officer will go to executive vice president Susan E. Lester, who was hired a year ago from Shawmut National Corp. Andrew J. Cecere was also promoted in the shuffle, to the newly created position of senior vice president of "acquisition integration and process management." Both Ms. Lester and Mr. Cecere will report to Mr. Zona.

The spokeswoman said Mr. Farley's departure was part of a "management streamlining" to cut costs. Moreover, First Bank is looking at other cost- cutting measures, including a paring of staff at the company's 324 branches. …

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