Home BancShares in Conway, Ark., has promoted John "Stephen" Tipton to chief operating officer, after the position had been vacant for about five years.

Tipton will be COO for both Home and its $8.1 billion-asset Centennial Bank. He started in the new role on Monday. Tipton was previously Centennial's regional vice president for Centennial. He joined Centennial in 2006.

"Our continued growth has made it necessary for us to add to our executive management team," Tracy French, chief executive, said in a news release.

The previous COO, Ron Strother, died in January 2010 and the position has been vacant since. Strother started as Home's COO in 2004.

Home in July named Brian Davis chief financial officer, after Ron Mayor retired.

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