Astoria Financial Corp. in Lake Success, N.Y., has announced that its chief executive officer will retire at midyear.

George L. Engelke Jr. is to relinquish the top post at the $18.1 billion-asset company on July 1. After 22 years at the helm "it is the right time to step down," Engelke, 72, said in a press release Wednesday. He is to remain chairman.

Monte Redman, Astoria's president and chief operating officer, is to succeed Engelke. He has been in those posts for three years.

Astoria reported that its fourth-quarter earnings nearly tripled from a year earlier, to $23.8 million, largely due to lower credit costs. Earnings for 2010 grew 166% from 2009, to $73.7 million.

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