United Community Banks in Blairsville, Ga., has solidified Lynn Harton’s hold as the eventual successor to Chief Executive Jimmy Tallent.

The $7.6 billion-asset company announced Tuesday that Harton, 52, had become its president and joined its board. Harton, United Community’s chief operating officer, has been running the company’s bank for the last three years.

Harton succeeded Tallent, 62, who remains CEO and was named chairman. W.C. Nelson, United Community’s previous chairman, moved over to become lead director.

Harton joined United Community in 2012, soon after orchestrating the sale of South Financial Group in Greenville, S.C., to TD Bank. His career also includes leadership roles at BB&T and Regions Financial.

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