After less than a year on the job, John T. Daly left last week as production chief at Fleet Mortgage Group.
The departure of Mr. Daly, who was executive vice president, comes as the Columbia, S.C., company is continuing its drive to add lending programs and develop better technological systems.
Industry sources said Mr. Daly, who has been in the mortgage business for over a decade, was fired. But Fleet representatives made an effort to defuse the situation.
"I can't disclose the circumstances, but it was amicable," said Nancy Boles, senior vice president. She said of Mr. Daly's tenure, "He brought a lot of energy to the company."
Mr. Daly was at Fleet's offices Friday, but did not return phone calls for comment. He was on-site "to make sure all loose ends are tied up," Ms. Boles said.
Since joining the company last June, Mr. Daly had overseen production at Fleet's three lending groups - correspondent, retail, and wholesale.
He was with the company for the last half of a year that saw Fleet's loan volume increase to $15.9 billion, from $14 billion in 1994.
Fleet chairman Jerry Baker and president Robert Golitz will share Mr. Daly's responsibilities until a replacement is found. Fleet is looking inside and outside the company, Ms. Boles said.
Fleet significantly revamped operations during Mr. Daly's tenure, carrying out mandates of a strategic plan.
Initiatives include the launching last fall of programs for so-called B and C loans and financing for builders. The company was also working to expand lending to borrowers with low and moderate incomes.
Operationally, Fleet began encouraging loan officers to broaden their product focus and branch managers to think of the operations as their franchise.
Some observers wondered whether Mr. Daly's abrupt departure would disrupt Fleet's progress.
But Ms. Boles said the company has a deep bench. "Each one of our production channels has very strong leaders," she said. "We have no concerns."
One analyst agreed, saying that Fleet's track record suggested the company would take the change in stride.
"Fleet over the years has had different management changes and the managers have produced solid results," said Gerard Cassidy, bank analyst at Tucker Anthony in Portland, Ore.
Mr. Daly came to Fleet from Pratt-Daly Corp., a mortgage management and sales consulting firm where he was president and co-owner.
Mr. Daly had earlier led home lending programs at Security Pacific Bank and Glendale Federal.