Synovus Financial Corp. said Monday that James Blanchard will remain chairman and chief executive officer for at least five more years as part of a new seven-year contract.

Mr. Blanchard, 58, has held those posts since 1986.

Synovus' board also gave Mr. Blanchard an option to buy 500,000 shares of Synovus common stock at $19.06 per share. The board plans to make similar awards in the future, according to a company statement. Mr. Blanchard earned $1.1 million in salary and bonus last year. -- Dan Weil

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