Needham Bank in Massachusetts is searching for a new chief executive just 14 months after its current leader took over.

The $1.9 billion-asset bank made Mark Whalen its CEO in June 2015 after a gradual transition from the longtime leadership of Jack McGeorge, who retired after decades as Needham's face in the community. Whalen announced July 21 that he planned to step down but would stay on as CEO until after his successor is hired. The Boston Business Journal reported Whalen's plans on Monday.

"We think this could take a year or two, and we didn't set a date because we want to be prudent about Mark's successor," Senior Vice President Eric Morse told American Banker on Tuesday.

Whalen plans to work with his successor "for a while" to help with the transition, after which he will serve as a director at the bank, Morse said. The bank has hired an executive search firm to help with its succession plans.

Whalen, 58, started his banking career as a teller at Dedham Co-Operative Bank in Dedham, Mass., in 1982, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joined Needham Bank in 2007 and was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2012.

After he relinquishes his CEO title, Whalen plans to use his degree in psychology to pursue a role with a not-for-profit, Morse said.

"I think for many of us, as our careers progress, we reach milestones in our life where we start to think about something more than our career and what we'd like to do with the rest of our lives," he added. "Mark has been a banker his whole life and I think there's some intellectual curiosity to do something different."

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