First Midwest Bancorp Inc. is looking for a new a leader for its First Midwest Bank unit.

The $7.8 billion-asset company in Itasca, Ill., announced late Monday that the bank's president and chief executive, Thomas J. Schwartz, plans to step down from those positions at the end of the year.

Michael L. Scudder, the president and chief executive of the company, will assume Schwartz's titles at the bank until a replacement is found.

Schwartz is expected to retire in 2012, ending a 40-year career. Meanwhile, he will serve as a senior executive at the bank.

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