Regions separates chairman and CEO roles

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The board of Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala., has elected its lead independent director to succeed Grayson Hall as chairman, separating the roles of chairman and chief executive for the first time in five years.

Charles McCrary will become chairman on Jan. 1, the $125 billion-asset company said Wednesday. McCrary, 67, has been on the boards of Regions and a predecessor bank, AmSouth Bancorp., since 2001. He was named lead independent director in 2013. McCrary was CEO of Alabama Power from 2001 to 2014.

Hall retired as CEO in July and will retire from the board on Dec. 31. John Turner, who had been president of Regions Financial, succeeded Hall as CEO this summer.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with Charles for many years, and our company has benefited from his personal integrity and commitment to excellence,” Hall said in a news release.

Regions has split the chairman and CEO roles several times in its history. Between 2010 and 2013, Hall was Regions’ CEO and Earnest Deavenport was chairman. Regions also split the roles in the mid-2000s when Dowd Ritter was CEO and Jackson Moore was chairman.

The decision to split the roles again, between Turner and McCrary, was not the result of a shareholder proposal.

“Decisions related to the board’s leadership structure, including whether the offices of chairman and chief executive office should be separate, are the responsibility of the nominating and governance committee of the board,” Evelyn Mitchell, a Regions spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Separately on Wednesday, Regions said it will appoint Zhanna Golodryga a director on Jan. 1. Golodryga is chief digital and administrative officer at Phillips 66 in Houston. As a result, the Regions board will remain at 15 members with the departure of Hall.

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