L. Glenn Orr Jr. may be losing his job as chairman and CEO of Southern National Corp., but he won't lose his paycheck.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Southern National, which is in the process of merging with BB&T Financial Corp., Wilson, N.C., said on Monday that Mr. Orr had entered into a noncompete agreement which will give him or his wife, should she survive him, payments of $1.7 million a year for life.

The settlement, approved by the boards of both Southern National and BB&T, carries a present value of $17.7 million. The company said this valuation, adjusted for inflation and expected pay raises, is equal to or less than what Mr. Orr would have made had he continued to manage Southern National until age 65.

Mr. Orr, 54, earned $444,184 last year, with an additional $531,481 in bonus, cash incentives, and deferred compensation.

The combined company, which will retain the Southern National name, will be run by John A. Allison 4th, BB&T's chairman and CEO. Mr. Orr will remain a director until he turns 70.

In proxy materials prepared for the Dec. 15 merger vote by shareholders of both companies, Southern National also firmed up some previous estimates related to the transaction. The company now expects $63 million in annual cost savings, compared with "over $50 million" when the deal was announced on Aug. 1.

Staff reductions will total 950, 11% of the combined work force, which compares with a 10% estimate in August.

When the $2.2 billion merger closes in next year's second quarter, Southern National will have assets of $19 billion.

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