JACKSONVILLE -- HomeSide International Inc. announced late Wednesday that Joe K. Pickett, chairman and chief executive officer of HomeSide International and chairman of its principal operating subsidiary, HomeSide Lending Inc., will retire on June 30, 2001.

Under Mr. Pickett's leadership, the lender grew from a small, regional mortgage firm with 850 employees to one of the largest mortgage companies in the United States with over 3000 employees worldwide, the company said. Homeside's servicing portfolio, for example, grew from $11.5 billion to its current size of over $185.5 billion.

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