T.R. "Ted" Winnowski, a 31-year career executive at KeyCorp who heads the company's Northwest region, said he plans to resign-because there is no job for him after a company reorganization.
Mr. Winnowski, 55, will probably leave the company by midyear. One of the architects of KeyCorp's strategy in the Northwest, he moved from Albany, N.Y., to Portland, Ore., in 1989 to become chairman and chief executive of Key Bank of Oregon.
Two years ago he was named regional executive for the Northwest, overseeing Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. The Northwest is one of the fastest-growing regions in which KeyCorp has a bank presence and is second in profitability to its Great Lakes region, which includes its home base of Ohio as well as Michigan and Indiana.
KeyCorp, with $67.6 billion of assets, is in the midst of a major restructuring that includes selling or closing 280 branches and reorganizing along lines of business rather than geography. By midyear, the company plans to have its 11 banks reduced to one-based in Cleveland and known as KeyBank.
"Regional executive management roles in KeyCorp that served as the bridge between the national and local organizations have been eliminated," Mr. Winnowski said in a prepared statement.
KeyCorp is eliminating four regional-executive jobs, Mr. Winnowski's among them. Two other men who held the title-Stephen E. Wall and Richard A. Molyneux-have been named to new positions.
Mr. Molyneux, who heads the Northeast, will become vice chairman of KeyBank in charge of supermarket banking and farm lending. Mr. Wall, who heads the Great Lakes region, will become president of KeyBank. Frederick A. Deal, who headed the Rocky Mountain region, retired Feb. 28.
R. Jay Tejera, an analyst with Dain Bosworth, said that after a number of small acquisitions, Mr. Winnowski positioned the Oregon bank to be the most profitable in the KeyCorp network.
The company followed the Oregon model in later acquisitions, Mr. Tejera said. "Oregon was a centerpiece to the KeyCorp strategy,"
That's why two years ago, after the merger between KeyCorp and Society Corp., Mr. Winnowski was promoted to Northwest region executive, Mr. Tejera said-as sort of a goodwill ambassador. "In some ways this was a face person for KeyCorp in the Northwest," the analyst said.
Mr. Winnowski had initially said he would remain as a consultant to KeyCorp, but Mr. Tejera said KeyCorp's plan to consolidate banks may be ahead of schedule, so Mr. Winnowski's services wouldn't be necessary after midyear. This suggests KeyCorp's plan is moving fast, Mr. Tejera said.
It was just two years ago that KeyCorp established the four regions, but analyst Michael Mayo of Credit Suisse First Boston said that was just "kind of a stopping point along the way to becoming one bank."