NEW ORLEANS - Hibernia Corp. announced a "significant" management restructuring Wednesday that is designed to put a stronger emphasis on the company's community banking operations and raise the profile of its commercial banking unit.

In a statement, the $16 billion-asset banking company said it wants to focus on improving sales and customer service.

J. Herbert Boydstun, 53, was promoted to chief community banking executive, based in Baton Rouge, La. He was chairman of the company's southwestern, south-central, and northeastern regions. Randall E. Howard, 52, was promoted to chief commercial banking executive, based in New Orleans. He was chairman of Hibernia's southeastern region.

In addition, Hibernia said it has begun a search for an executive for a new retail and small-business banking sales post.

The changes came just months after Hibernia bought Southcoast Capital Corp., an investment banking boutique, and the Rosenthal Agency, a commercial insurer.

"We are creating an even clearer and flatter organization that is more customer- and sales-focused," said Stephen A. Hansel, Hibernia's president and chief executive officer.

The new structure "will sharpen our efforts to integrate many services and bring key decision makers closer to our customers," he said.

Hibernia has split its community banking operations into eight sectors, each run by an executive who reports to Mr. Boydstun.

They include Paul Bonitatibus, head of metropolitan New Orleans and the neighboring north shore region, Hugh Hamilton, head of the bayou region, S. Kyle Waters, head of south central Louisiana operations, John Laing, head of southwest Louisiana, Keith Bergeron, head of the northwest region, Malcolm Maddox, regional chairman of north and central Louisiana, Joe Wood, head of north Texas, and Dan Hallmark, head of southeast Texas operations.

In commercial banking, Bill Herrington, Rob Stuart, and Harold Turner have been promoted to executive vice president, and each will focus on middle-market corporate lending for a different region.

Scott Howard was named a commercial banking strategist, reporting to Randy Howard. Scott Howard, whom the company credited for helping to build its commercial banking operations, continues to oversee treasury management services, corporate finance, and international banking.

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