First USA Inc. said Tuesday that Jack Antonini resigned as president of its thrift subsidiary, First USA Federal Savings Bank.

The credit card company said Mr. Antonini left to "pursue other interests." He was not available for comment.

Mr. Antonini, 43, joined the parent company as chief financial officer in 1995 and spearheaded the establishment of the thrift in 1996.

His departure calls into question First USA's need for the thrift. Before the Dallas-based company's June merger with Banc One Corp., it was seen as a vehicle to cross-sell home equity, installment, and auto loans to credit card customers.

First USA chairman Richard Vague said the thrift's businesses are becoming "more fully aligned with appropriate lending operations" of First USA and Banc One.

"One of the things that Jack did was attract an extremely capable management team, and they will carry on with the business at hand," said George McCane, a First USA spokesman. That team will report to First USA Bank. There is no current plan to replace Mr. Antonini.

Before joining First USA, Mr. Antonini had led USAA Federal Savings Bank, San Antonio, to national card-issuing prominence as its president and chief executive officer. USAA Federal was chartered in 1983 by United Services Automobile Association and has pioneered virtual, branchless banking.

James L. Accomando, president of Accomando Consulting Inc., Fairfield, Conn., said it was too early to perceive the significance of Mr. Antonini's departure.

"First USA now has clout in retail and credit cards," Mr. Accomando said, and it must "make decisions on consolidations and economies of scale" and "on what will stay and what won't stay."

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