Ray Davis is fully retiring from Umpqua Holdings in Portland, Ore.

The $25.7 billion-asset company disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday that Davis, 67, will retire as its chairman on Dec. 31 and as an employee two days later. The board tapped Peggy Fowler, Umpqua’s lead independent director, to succeed Davis as chairman.

The filing gave no reason for Davis’ retirement.

When Davis took the helm at what was then South Umpqua State Bank in 1994, it had $140 million of assets and five branches in southwest Oregon. More than 15 acquisitions later, Umpqua is now the largest bank based in the Pacific Northwest, with more than $24 billion of assets and roughly 320 branches in five states.

Along the way, Davis established Umpqua as one of the industry's most admired brands. Recognizing that Umpqua could never compete with larger banks on price, convenience or technology, he differentiated the bank by instilling a service culture that took cues from the likes of Nordstrom and Ritz-Carlton.

Davis announced a year ago that he would step down as Umpqua's CEO and transition to a new role as executive chairman and CEO of its Silicon Valley-based innovation lab, Pivotus Ventures. He received American Banker’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2016.

Ray Davis, former CEO of Umpqua.
Ray Davis is set to retire as chairman of Umpqua Holdings.

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