Barnett Banks Inc. announced Richard J. Redick has left his job as the bank's director of finance to become its chief technology officer.
Mr. Redick, a Barnett employee since 1993, succeeds Jonathan J. Palmer, the high-profile executive who left the bank in May to become chief executive at Wellspring Resources, an employee benefits outsourcing company.
As head of Barnett Technologies Inc., the Jacksonville, Fla.-based bank's technology unit, Mr. Redick now oversees four primary functions: information technologies, loan operations, transaction processing, and strategic services.
Analysts said Mr. Redick's financial background fits with Barnett's aggressive technology strategy.
"Barnett has sunk a lot of money into systems that are just about ready to pop with positive results," said Richard Bove, analyst at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Fla. "If their whole thrust is profitability, who better to monitor that than a guy whose specialty is finance?"
Mr. Redick joined Barnett in 1993 after a career in investment management - first as president of a retail brokerage and later as executive vice president of capital markets for BayBanks Inc. in Boston.
At least one observer wondered if placing a finance executive in a technology position pointed to future cost-cutting at Barnett.
Mr. Redick acknowledged that "technology is an important part of the bank's reengineering efforts," but said he will be mainly focused on developing new applications and systems.
Mr. Redick, who has been filling in as chief technologist since Mr. Palmer's departure, has a tough act to follow.
Mr. Palmer is generally credited by analysts with improving Barnett's profitability through an aggressive but intelligent deployment of technology.
Since 1994, Mr. Palmer had held the dual titles of chief technologist and head of retail operations. His old job will now be split between Mr. Redick and Lee E. Hanna, who was named chief retail delivery executive in June.