Royal Bank of Canada (RY) in Toronto has named its next chairman and chief risk officer.

Chairman David O'Brien plans to step down at yearend, the company said Thursday. Kathleen Taylor will succeed him.

O'Brien has been the bank's chairman since 2004, and has been on the board since 1996. He will remain on the board through RBC's next annual meeting in February to ensure an orderly transition, the company said.

Taylor has been an RBC director since 2001, and has been the head of its human resources committee since 2010. She is the former president and chief executive of the hotel chain Four Seasons.

O'Brien's "exemplary leadership guided the board in its stewardship of RBC through a period of significant financial services industry reform and global growth for the bank," Taylor said in the news release. "I appreciate the confidence of the board and look forward to building on the bank's achievements together."

Separately, RBC announced Thursday that Chief Risk Officer Morten Friis plans to retire on Jan. 10 after more than 30 years with the company. Mark Hughes, currently chief operating officer for RBC Capital Markets, will succeed Friis upon his retirement and will become deputy chief risk officer on Nov. 1 to help manage the transition.

Friis joined RBC in 1979 and served in a variety of roles before becoming chief risk officer in 2004. He joined the bank's executive committee in 2009.

Hughes, who joined RBC in 1981, will also join the bank's executive committee.

Hughes "will report directly to me and will be an excellent addition to our group executive committee," RBC CEO Gordon Nixon said in the release. "His in-depth understanding of RBC, global perspective and previous experiences will continue to serve him well in his new role."

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