Discover elevates lead director to chairman

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Lawrence Weinbach, a board member at Discover Financial Services since 2009, has been elected to serve as the company’s new chairman.

Weinbach will succeed David Nelms, who stepped down as CEO earlier this fall, and had previously announced his intention to retire as chairman. Riverwoods, Ill.-based Discover said in a regulatory filing that Weinbach will become chairman on Jan. 1.

Weinbach has been Discover’s lead director since 2009. He is also the chairman of Great Western Products Holdings, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of concession products, according to a biography on Discover’s website.

During earlier career stints, Weinbach served as CEO of Unisys Corp. and Andersen Worldwide, which is now known as Accenture.

For now, Discover joins banks such as Citigroup and Regions Financial that have split the CEO job from the chairman post. Discover spokesman Jon Drummond said Monday that no decision has been made on whether to keep the jobs separate.

On Oct. 1, Nelms was succeeded in the CEO job by Roger Hochschild, who was previously the firm’s president and chief operating officer. Hochschild also joined the firm’s board of directors earlier this year.

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