In what some analysts are terming yet another coup for former Society Corp. executives, Keycorp named Henry Meyer 3d chief operating officer - effective June 1 - giving him a title that now belongs to president Robert Gillespie.
Mr. Gillespie was designated last week to succeed chairman Victor Riley as chief executive on Sept. 1 - four months earlier than expected. Mr. Gillespie, 50, had been chairman of Society before the Cleveland bank merged with Keycorp in March 1994.
Mr. Meyer, a former Society vice chairman, had been sharing the duties of chief banking officer with Gary Allen, a former executive of the old Keycorp.
As chief operating officer, Mr. Meyer, 45, will be responsible for national consumer finance, consumer banking, corporate banking, and personal financial services.
As the sole chief banking officer, Mr. Allen, 46, will be responsible for all 13 of the bank holding company's subsidiaries. Between 1988 and 1994, he was the chairman and chief executive of the old Keycorp's lead subsidiary, Key Bank of New York.
Some analysts said last week's promotions were a subtle way of putting officers from Society Corp. fully in charge of the $67.7 billion-asset bank, which has been suffering from lagging revenues and confusion about who was ultimately responsible for growth.
"I think this would effectively suggest that Allen will be reporting to Meyer," said Francis X. Suozzo, a banking analyst with S.G. Warburg. "Society Corp. historically was always much more organized around products. Keycorp had the geographic spread. But the best banks have strong management of business lines, as opposed to geographies," he added.
The promotions of Mr. Meyer and Mr. Allen were a direct result of Mr. Riley's decision to move up the timetable for the transfer of power to Mr. Gillespie. The succession was to have taken place at yearend, but dissatisfaction with the company's results pushed it to Sept. 1
"I think there is a general feeling that first quarter results were dispiriting," said Nancy Bush, an analyst with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. They needed a new sense of purpose. This is supposed to be clearer management," she added.
Keycorp's earnings of $210 million were essentially flat in the first quarter.