Ex-Glendale President Gets a Key Post at Mellon

After a eight-month executive search, Mellon Bank has hired Keith P. Russell, former president of Glendale Federal Bank, to take the reins of its information technology division.

Mr. Russell's appointment as executive vice president was announced Tuesday by W. Keith Smith, vice chairman of Pittsburgh-based Mellon, to whom Mr. Russell will report.

Mr. Russell, 45, succeeded George P. Dinardo, the flamboyant technology executive who built Mellon's data processing operations over the last two decades into what many industry observers consider to be one of the most advanced in banking. Mr. DiNardo resigned from the bank suddenly last January, saying he wanted a change.

Headed a Top Thrift

Mr. Russell is former president and chief operating officer of $22 billion-asset Glendale Federal, a unit of Glenfed Inc., Glendale Calif. The thrift is the nation's fourth-largest.

Mellon talked with Mr. Russell for three months before choosing him. Mr. Smith said the bank talked to a number of candidates. Some observers speculated the search took longer than expected because Mellon changed the job description after Mr. DiNardo left to deemphasize the post's strategic technology planning functions.

"The selection represents a shift from the chief information officer mandate of the 1980s, which was to change the industry through technology to the more modest aspirations of decentralization" of technology resources, said Jay Gaines, president of the executive search firm Jay Gaines & Co., New York.

However, in addition to his information technology responsibilities, Mr. Russell will run Mellon's cash management and mortgage banking units.

"Mellon needed to redefine the position in a way that would marry the technology with day-to-day operations," said Mr. Smith.

"The organization did not see this post as purely a replacement for George DiNardo," said Mr. Russell.

Mr. Russell's mandate is designed to make technology departments more responsive to needs of the fee-based businesses, Mr. Smith said. He will also continue Mellon's push into providing outsourcing services, where Mellon will concentrate on serving midsize and community banks.

Mr. Russell spent eight years at Glenfed, six of them as president and chief operating officer. From 1974 to 1983, Mr. Russell ran the finance, venture capital, and mortgage banking departments for Security Pacific Corp., in addition to overseeing support operations for the units.

Before entering banking, Mr. Russell was an associate professor of economics at the University of Southern California.

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