After four decades of growing U.S. Bancorp into a coveted regional, Gerry B. Cameron faces a different focus in 1995.
Mr. Cameron was elevated to CEO earlier this year and given the task of focusing on cost control after helping expand the company beyond its Portland, Ore. base. His mission today: continue a three-year program started in 1994 to cut expenses to 59% of revenues.
So far, the "Focus 59" program has centered on cutting the work force by 10%, resulting in a $100 million special charge. But Mr. Cameron has made it clear that no expense is too small for his attention. He likes to say he has reintroduced some workers to the telephone instead of travel. Those that still travel had better be careful of where they park. Mr. Cameron has been critical of executives who choose more expensive short-term lots over the bus ride to long-term parking at the Portland airport.
The early results of the program are expected to start showing up as early as January when fourth quarter results are reported. The question is whether it will be enough in the eyes of investors.