Sierra Bancorp (BSRR) in Porterville, Calif., has tapped Kevin McPhaill to be its president and chief executive-in-waiting.

McPhaill will become president and chief operating officer of the $1.4 billion-asset company and its bank at the beginning of next year, it announced Monday. The company plans to name him CEO when its current president and CEO, James Holly, retires. The date of Holly's retirement has not been set.

McPhaill, 41, joined Sierra in 2001 and has held his current role of chief banking officer for five years.

Holly, 72, has been president and CEO of the bank since its founding in 1997, and has held the same roles at the holding company since 2000, when it was created. Earlier, he was with United California Bank, which was acquired by Wells Fargo (WFC).

"We have full confidence that [McPhaill's] transition to his new role as president and chief operating officer will be a smooth and natural progression thanks to his wealth of experience, familiarity with the bank's culture, and proven management abilities," Holly said in a news release.

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