The top executive of Chase Manhattan Corp.'s mortgage banking subsidiary has suddenly left the company.

Fred B. Koons, chairman and chief executive of Tampa, Fla.-based Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp., resigned to "pursue other interests outside Chase," the company said. Mr. Koons, who joined Chase in 1980, could not be reached for comment.

Succeeding Mr. Koons is Richard A. Mirro, who since March has been the mortgage company's chief operating officer for originations. He joined Chase in 1986.

Mr. Koons' exit marks the third time in as many months that a top executive has quit a large mortgage company.

Mark L. Korell, the former chief executive of GMAC Mortgage Co., was the first, stepping down in May. Next was David Frank, chief executive of Chemical Banking Corp.'s mortgage unit, who resigned in June.

Mr. Mirro said in a telephone interview that Chase remains firmly committed to the mortgage business. Its mortgage unit was No. 4 in originations in 1994, with $17.4 billion in loans.

He said Chase's mortgage unit experienced problems after the refinance boom ended, particularly because of its increased presence after its purchases of Troy & Nichols Mortgage Corp. in July 1993, and American Residential Mortgage Corp. last September.

Donald L. Boudreau, a vice chairman at Chase Manhattan, said in a prepared statement that Mr. Mirro's "broad background, retail business experience and knowledge of the mortgage industry make him an ideal choice to grow this important business."

In 1988, Mr. Mirro was appointed president of Chase Home Mortgage Corp; the next year he became executive vice president for the bank and for the mortgage unit. In 1991 he became the bank's western hemisphere consumer banking executive, responsible for Chase's activity in Latin America.

Mr. Mirro said that his retail banking experience gives him insight on how a bank parent can work well with a mortgage company unit.

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