John M. O'Meara, the chairman and chief executive officer of First Midwest Bancorp Inc. in Itasca, Ill., died Saturday at the age of 62 after a long illness.

The $8.2 billion-asset First Midwest's board elected Michael L. Scudder, 48, as its president and CEO. He had previously been the president and chief operating officer.

The board also reinstalled Mr. O'Meara's brother, Robert, as its chairman. Robert O'Meara, 70, was the chairman from 1987 until May of last year, when his brother succeeded him.

Robert O'Meara had been First Midwest's vice chairman since then. He was also its CEO from 1987 to December 2002.

John O'Meara was named the CEO in January 2003. Both he and his brother joined First Midwest in 1983, when it was formed through a merger of 20 banks in the area.

"John was a stalwart in Chicago banking for over 35 years," Steve Vanderwoude, the chairman of First Midwest's nominating and corporate governance committee, said in a press release. "He led with vision, principle, empathy, and determination and built First Midwest into one of the top performing regional banks in the nation."

John Pancari, an analyst with JPMorgan Securities Inc., wrote in a note issued Monday that Mr. O'Meara's death came as a surprise, even though he had been ill for some time. Mr. O'Meara had remained involved in the day-to-day activities of the company and its First Midwest Bank.

With a "seamless" transition, Mr. Pancari said, he does not expect a significant stock reaction to the announcement, and he doubts the company will put itself up for sale.

By late Monday, First Midwest's shares had fallen one penny, to $25.80.

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