Jim Smith plans to retire as Webster Financial’s CEO at yearend, ending a 30-year run leading the Waterbury, Conn., company.
John Ciulla, president of the $26 billion-asset Webster, will succeed Smith as CEO on Dec. 31. Smith, 68, will remain chairman, although in a nonexecutive capacity.
“We’ve undertaken a transformation to position Webster for continued growth as a high-performing regional bank,” Smith said in a news release Tuesday.
Smith has been Webster’s CEO since 1987. It has become the largest bank in the $37 billion market for health savings accounts. Webster has also expanded commercial lending into the technology, media, telecom and health care industry segments under Smith’s watch.
Ciulla, 52, joined Webster in 2004 and has been president since October 2015. He previously worked for Bank of New York before its acquisition of Mellon Financial.