The president and chief executive officer of Hawthorne Financial Corp. abruptly resigned last week amid differences with the board of directors over the direction of the El Segundo, Calif., thrift company, according to industry sources.

Scott A. Braly, who is widely credited with resurrecting Hawthorne from near death after it lost nearly $30 million in 1993, also stepped down from the board of the $1.6 billion-asset company.

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