Synovus Financial Corp. President and Chief Executive Kessel D. Stelling will take on the additional title of chairman when Richard E. Anthony steps down from the position on Jan. 1. 

The $28 billion-asset company said Thursday that Anthony will remain on the board until his term expires at the 2012 annual meeting. Anthony had served as chairman and CEO of the Columbus, Ga., company until he took a leave to undergo treatment for a medical condition diagnosed in June 2010. At that time, Stelling was named as acting CEO.

Stelling joined Synovus in March 2006 when the company purchased Riverside Bancshares Inc. and merged it with Atlanta-based affiliate Bank of North Georgia. He became regional CEO for the Atlanta metropolitan area in June 2008. He was named Synovus' president and chief operating officer in February 2010 and CEO in October 2010.

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