William J. Braun has been elected president and chief executive officer of Firstar Bank Appleton, a subsidiary of Firstar Corp., Milwaukee.

He succeeds William F. Hodgkiss, who is leaving the Appleton, Wis., bank to pursue other interests, Firstar said.

Mr. Braun will also be president and chief operating officer of Firstar Bank Oshkosh. He will work with Dennis Noone, chairman and chief executive officer of the Oshkosh, Wis., subsidiary.

"Like many of our customers, we are working to flatten our organization structure where we can, to ensure that we remain responsive to customers and cost competitive," said Firstar's David A. Rauwerdink in explaining Mr. Braun's dual responsibility. "For that reason, and because of the high degree of commonality between the Appleton and Oshkosh markets, we have asked Bill to become involved with both banks."

Mr. Rauwerdink is senior president of Firstar Corp.'s six-bank, $1.5 billion northeast Wisconsin region.

Mr. Braun joined Firstar in 1978. He left in the mid-'80s and spent several years as general manager of the cutlery division of Fiskars Co. before rejoining Firstar in 1986. He held senior positions at Firstar's banks in Rice Lake and Oshkosh before assuming the presidency of the Fond du Lac bank in 1991.

James P. Voight, previously Firstar Bank Fond du Lac's senior vice president overseeing commercial business services, has been named president of the Fond du Lac bank, replacing Mr. Braun. Mr. Voight joined the bank in 1991.

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