CHICAGO - William P. Boardman, head of Bank One Corp.'s First USA credit card unit, will retire from the Chicago banking company on March 1, the company said Tuesday.

Mr. Boardman, 59, has worked at Bank One for 17 years, during which he has overseen First USA and helped acquire bank franchises across the country.

"Over the last 16 months, he has shouldered the difficult task of stabilizing our First USA credit card business, reducing expenses and setting the stage for its return to growth," said James Dimon, chairman and chief executive, in a press statement issued by the company.

Bank One announced in November that Philip G. Heasley would succeed Mr. Boardman at the credit card unit. Mr. Boardman told Bank One officials that he wanted to retire by the age of 60.

He has served in several senior executive positions since joining Bank One in 1984. He became chairman and CEO of First USA in October 1999 and was named Bank One's vice chairman and a board member two months later.

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