A Rockford, Ill., bank holding company that has come under criticism recently for its sluggish results and stock price has named a new chairman.

Robert J. Meuleman, who has been president and chief executive officer of $4.4 billion-asset Amcore Financial Inc. since 1996, succeeds Carl Dargene, 70, who retired as chairman Thursday after 18 years at the company. Mr. Meuleman, 60, retains the CEO title but yielded the presidency to Kenneth E. Edge, 54, who also was named chief operating officer.

Amcore's banking subsidiary - also named Amcore - holds 27% of the Rockford area's deposits, making it the biggest in its area. But some shareholders and analysts have been critical of its performance and have advocated a sale.

The stock was trading at $19.6875 at midday Friday, down 22% from its 52-week high in late December.

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