Green Point Savings Bank's decision to go public followed a bitterly divisive internal debate that led to the resignation of the thrift's chief executive, according to well-placed sources.

Michael J. Gagliardi, a well-regarded manager who had headed the prosperous Brooklyn, N.Y. savings bank since 1989, left in April, just one month before Green Point announced its plans to switch from mutual to stock ownership. Sources say Mr. Gagliardi was either fired or forced to resign because of his opposition to the plan.

The executive believed that the thrift, which has $6.5 billion in assets, already has adequate capital and should remain independent, sources said.

Board members, eager to cash in on the public offering, disagreed. They argued that in an era of consolidation, Green Point needs a war chest to pay for expansion. Wall Street bankers expect the conversion to stock ownership to raise as much as $800 million.

Two Green Point executive vice presidents have taken over for Mr. Gagliardi, who was not replaced. Lawyers for the thrift declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure. Mr. Gagliardi could not be reached for comment.

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