Glenfed Exec Quits; New Strategy Cited

LOS ANGELES - Keith P. Russell resigned as president and chief operating officer of Glenfed Inc., the thrift company announced Monday.

The unexpected resignation took the industry by surprise because Mr. Russell, 44, was highly regarded and widely considered the eventual successor to Norman M. Coulson, 57, the chairman and chief executive officer.

The company's announcement said simply that Mr. Russell had resigned "to pursue other business interests effective immediately," Mr. Coulson assumed Mr. Russell's responsibilities.

Traced to Strategic Shift

In a telephone interview, Mr. Coulson denied there was personal friction and said the move was dictated by a strategic shift. Glenfed has $22 billion in assets and is the parent of Glendale Federal Bank.

"Keith came to Glenfed in 1983 to help us diversify," Mr. Coulson said. "We're going back to [being] a basic bank, and our executive staff needs have changed."

Many of the diversified enterprises are being sold or unwound in a sweeping reorganization.

The restructuring has included layoffs of 1,100 employees, or nearly one-quarter of Glenfed's total. Two of nine executive vice presidents and about one in four senior vice presidents got pink slips.

Joined Eight Years Ago

Mr. Russell joined Glenfed from Security Pacific Corp. eight years ago as an executive vice president and was promoted to chief operating officer in October 1985. He added the president's title last year.

Mr. Russell was Glenfed's third-highest-paid executive, earning $477,675 in cash compensation during the year ended June 1990. Mr. Coulson earned $681,361, and Raymond D. Edwards, who was chairman of the board and has since retired, earned $509,620.

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