Dissident director Marshall T. Reynolds has succeeded in ousting Barbara Davis Blum as chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Washington's Adams National Bank.
Mr. Reynolds convinced a majority of the bank's shareholders to remove Ms. Blum and three other directors from Adams National's board.
When a new board convened Monday, its first action was to dismiss Ms. Blum as president and CEO, ending her 15-year tenure at the $128 million- asset bank. In protest, three more directors and six officers of the bank resigned Monday afternoon.
Ms. Blum did not return calls seeking comment.
In a letter to Mr. Reynolds announcing their resignation, the directors said they could not "serve effectively on a board that will obviously have different goals than ours."
"We got on the board to perpetuate the mission of the bank-to serve minorities and women in the region," said Susan J. Williams, president of a local lobbying company and one of the three directors who resigned. "Our feeling is, that mission is no longer going to be paid attention to at the bank."
But Mr. Reynolds insisted the bank's mission will not change.
In an interview last week, he said Adams National's next CEO will "absolutely" be a woman. The "top officers and board will be dominated by women," he pledged. Currently, seven of the 10 board seats are vacant.
Mr. Reynolds said Ms. Blum was not the right person to lead the bank. "We believe the bank should be run by a competent, professional banker," he said.
Ms. Blum, who came to Washington in 1976 to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, had no banking experience before joining Adams.
But Ms. Williams defended Ms. Blum's record, pointing out that the bank's assets had grown from only $10 million when she arrived to more than $100 million. "How anyone can say that isn't good management is startling to me," she said.
Tension between Mr. Reynolds and Ms. Blum had escalated since last summer when the bank announced plans to buy Arlington, Va.-based Ballston Bancorp.
Mr. Reynolds initially supported the deal but changed his mind and led a campaign to thwart the merger. After the deal's defeat, the bank sued Mr. Reynolds. He countered by launching a proxy campaign to remove four directors.
In the proxy letter urging Ms. Blum's ouster, Mr. Reynolds cited the lawsuit against him as an example of poor management. "The incumbents have wasted, and unless removed will continue to waste, a significant amount of the company's time, money, and resources in litigation," the letter said.
It was just three years ago that Mr. Reynolds led a group that bought a controlling stake in the company from Citicorp, which had seized it years earlier from its bankrupt owners.