Synovus Financial Corp. named Allen J. Gula Jr., a 30-year veteran of the financial-services industry, as its chief operations officer, a newly created position.

Gula previously served as a senior executive at Greater Bay Bancorp in San Francisco, now a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. In his new role, he will be responsible for all operations and information technology for Synovus.

"We are pleased to have a leader with Al's experience and reputation join our company at this important time," said President and Chief Executive Kessel D. Stelling. "His diverse background and broad perspective of the financial services industry will be invaluable to our company as we continue to become a more efficient, value-generating company that is committed to relationship-based banking."

In June, the financial-services company formed a senior housing group to focus on commercial banking for Alzheimer's, convalescent and assisted-living care facilities, as well as nursing homes. Synovus has previously announced expansions in its treasury-management group and large corporate banking initiative in order to drive revenue growth.

The company said in April its first-quarter loss narrowed on lower costs and loan-loss provisions, though revenue — measured as the sum of net interest income and noninterest income — declined 5.3%.

Shares were recently trading at $2.06, down a penny. The stock has fallen 25% over the past year.

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