Search For CEO Leads To Pending CorporateMarriage

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (04/06/06)–The pending merger of SoutheastCorporate FCU and Southwest Corporate FCU was precipitated byPlano, Texas-based Southwest’s search for a new CEO toreplace Fancis Lee, who left to head up U.S. Central Corporate FCU.Southwest reached out to Southeast CEO Bill Birdwell as a potentialcandidate for the CEO post at the $10-billion corporate, butBirdwell countered with a much bigger offer. “I reallywasn’t interested in going from one corporate toanother,” Birdwell told The Credit Union Journal, noting hasworked at a number of corporates, including Volcorp and SouthwestCorp. “Even though Southwest is a larger corporate (thanSoutheast Corp), I am very happy where I am. But I thought whatwould be special would be if, instead of just going from onecorporate to the other, we make this an opportunity to reallycreate more value for members, something we can all get excitedabout.” Birdwell said neither of the two corporates wereactively courting a merger. “It was just an opportunity.It’s wasn’t something we were seeking out or they wereseeking out,” he explained. “But it was a unique windowof opportunity, and as such we needed to move quickly or not atall.”

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