ROCKFORD, Ill. - Amcore Financial Inc. has announced the dismissal of three top executives, including the president of its main subsidiary, Amcore Bank, in what it described as a "streamlining."

The $4.2 billion-asset company fired James F. Warsaw, the president and chief executive officer of Amcore Bank, and gave these titles to Ken Edge, president and chief operating officer of the holding company.

Also fired were Lewis Jones, investments and bank portfolio manager, and Wanda Liptow, senior vice president for compensation and benefits.

The announcement was made Friday, two days after Amcore reported an 8% decline in first-quarter earnings.

One analyst speculated that the move was an attempt to look better to shareholders.

"They're reacting to the fact that the numbers weren't there again, and they know the market will continue to penalize them unless they are seen as doing something," said Christopher R. Raffo, an Arlington Heights, Ill., institutional salesman for Hoefer & Arnett in San Francisco.

But Katherine Taylor, an Amcore spokeswoman, said the move had nothing to do with first-quarter results; it was intended to bring together the retail and asset management businesses, she said.

"Any areas where we saw duplicate efforts, we're streamlining the company," she said.

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