Ron Hermance, chairman and chief executive of Hudson City Bancorp in Paramus, N.J., has died.

The company said in a press release Friday that Hermance "passed away unexpectedly" the previous night, though there were no further details. Hermance, 67, took a leave of absence from February to July in 2012 to receive a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with a blood disorder.

The $38 billion-asset Hudson City hired Hermance 27 years ago. He became president in 1997, and took over as CEO five years later. He became chairman in 2005.

Hermance also helped orchestrate his company's August 2012 agreement to sell to the $92 billion-asset M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y. The deal has been delayed as regulators have pushed M&T to address problems with its anti-money laundering controls.

Hudson City said in a separate press release Friday that it Dennis Salamone, the company's president and chief operating officer, had been appointed to succeed Hermance, effective immediately. Salamone served as acting chairman and CEO during Hermance's 2012 medical leave.

"This transition to a new chief executive officer will not impede the company's strategic plans, including the planned merger with M&T," William Bardel, Hudson's lead independent director, said in the release.

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