FOR YEARS NOW, bank chief executives across the country have been restructuring their companies -- and laying off thousands.

And while industry observers have seen the bloodletting as a necessary evil, First Bank System Inc.'s chairman and chief executive, John F. "Jack" Grundhofer, has been particularly savaged for his cost-cutting effort by the media -- which gave him the decidely unflattering nickname "Jack the Ripper."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.