Forced out as chairman Cape Fear Bank Corp. last month, Cameron Coburn has resigned as president and chief executive officer of the Wilmington, N.C., company.

His resignation, which took effect Sept. 19 but was announced Tuesday, effectively ends Mr. Coburn's nearly year-long battle with activist investor Maurice J. Koury for control of the $496 million-asset Cape Fear.

Mark Tyler, 43, a senior vice president and the chief banking officer, who joined Cape Fear in 1999, will be the interim president and CEO.

Mr. Coburn's fate was sealed last month, when he lost his chairmanship in a power-sharing compromise with a dissident director slate put together by Mr. Koury, the president of Carolina Hosiery Mills Inc. in Burlington.

Dan Cardenas, a senior analyst at Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett Inc., said Mr. Coburn's resignation was not surprising "given what's transpired over the recent past."

Mr. Koury, who owns 8.82% of the shares, is Cape Fear's largest investor, and he has been seeking a change in leadership at the struggling company for nearly a year.

He even offered to buy the company outright for $12 a share, but the board rejected that offer in January.

Cape Fear lost $1.04 million in the first half, and a high percentage of its deposits are brokered, despite a branch-building plan designed to increase core deposits.

Proxy fights like the one at Cape Fear take "so much time away from managing the bank," according to Ken Thomas, the Miami consultant who operates the Web site branchlocation.com.

"Regardless of who's running this shop, they've got to realize that the real concern is turning the ship around, making money, and getting it back to a situation where it's got a stronger capital base and less dependence on these volatile CDs," Mr. Thomas said.

Mr. Coburn left with a hefty severance payout. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday, he was scheduled to receive $570,139 of severance and about $455,000 of other accrued costs and expenses.

Mr. Koury could not be reached for comment. Executives at Cape Fear declined interview requests.

In a press release Tuesday, Lee Crouch, the new chairman of Cape Fear's board, thanked Mr. Coburn "for his hard work," and wished him well "as he moves into the next chapter of his career."

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