Regions Financial Corp. said Thursday that Chairman and Chief Executive C. Dowd Ritter will retire in March.

The $140 billion-asset Birmingham, Ala., company said that O.B. Grayson Hall, who had just been promoted in October to president and chief operating officer, will succeed Ritter as CEO on March 31. Regions also said that director Earnest Deavenport Jr. will become nonexecutive chairman when Ritter retires.

Hall, 52, was viewed as Ritter's heir apparent when he was named to his new roles two months ago. At the time, however, Regions only noted that Ritter, 62, was three years away from the company's mandatory retirement age.

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