COLUMBUS, GA. - Elizabeth R. "Lee Lee" James, president of the human resources unit of Synovus Financial Corp., has been promoted to vice chairman of the parent company.

Ms. James assumes responsibility for Synovus Technologies Inc., the company's data processing division.

She continues to oversee Synovus Service Corp., the wholly owned subsidiary that handles payroll, benefits, and corporate communications for all Synovus companies. Pointpath Bank, the Internet-only bank Synovus plans to open in June, falls within Synovus Service.

Ms. James' post is newly created. Unlike vice chairmen Walter M. "Sonny" Deriso Jr. and Richard E. Anthony, she does not serve on the board of directors. Ms. James is one of five top-level Synovus executives, joining James Blanchard, chairman and chief executive officer, James D. Yancey, president, Mr. Deriso, and Mr. Anthony.

Since 1986, Ms. James has held various jobs at Synovus, including posts at its flagship Columbus Bank and Trust Co. and in its card processing unit, Total System Services Inc.

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