Michael Heath has been named president and chief operating officer - a new position - at Online Resources and Communications Corp., which provides home banking and bill payment services and manufactures screen telephones.

Mr. Heath will help the growing company manage product development and marketing better as it expands in interactive services, said Matthew P. Lawlor, chairman and chief executive officer.

"We've grown to the point where it makes sense to head up our operations side," he said.

Mr. Lawlor, who had been chief of operations as well as chief executive, will now turn his attentions to policy matters, alliances, and business development.

Mr. Heath will be responsible for product development for meeting implementation deadlines for products and services.

The new president is no stranger to Online Resources. He has been a director since 1989, when the McLean, Va.-based company was founded.

He was brought onto the board for his management talent and experience in financial services and other industries, said Mr. Lawlor.

"Mike is a top-notch manager whose operational expertise is widely appreciated," Mr. Lawlor said.

"He brings both management capabilities and an understanding of our business.

"Both will serve us extremely well as we grow with the interactive industry."

Mr. Heath was recently president of Houston-based MediaNews Group Inc., which owns the Houston Post and the Denver Post.

He was also president of Bergen Record Corp., Hackensack, N.J., a regional newspaper and broadcasting company.

As for his banking experience, Mr. Heath worked for 10 years at Chemical Bank in New York. He held a variety of senior management positions, heading up a consumer banking division and serving in the corporate lending area.

Online Resources provides interactive financial services through its ScreenPhone, which is being marketed through NationsBank Corp., Charlotte, N.C.

The bank has just begun marketing Online Resources' new screen telephone, the ScreenPhone 220, to customers in the middle-Atlantic region.

Online Resources also recently began offering its bill payment service through conventional telephones.

The system, designed to work with a bank's existing automated voice response systems, lets customers pay bills from home without any special input device.

The company plans to provide access to its interactive services through additional devices, including a PC-based product to be available by midyear.

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