MINNEAPOLIS - U.S. Bancorp said Tuesday that Susan E. Lester, chief financial officer, has decided to quit the company to pursue other interests. A vice chairman, Andrew Cecere, was named to succeed her.

Mr. Cecere, 39, will oversee financial functions as well as U.S. Bank's corporate trust and leasing businesses. He will also retain his title as vice chairman. He was most recently head of the company's commercial services group.

"He understands the strong relationship between good customer service and outstanding financial results," said John F. Grundhofer, chairman and chief executive officer of the company.

U.S. Bancorp, like several midwestern banks, has had trouble maintaining profit growth in the face of rising interest rates. In December, the company announced it would fall short of Wall Street expectations for earnings per share growth in 2000. On a conference call, Mr. Grundhofer and Ms. Lester told analysts to look for earnings of between $2.30 and $2.35 a share versus the consensus at the time of $2.45 a share for yearend 2000.

A spokeswoman said Ms. Lester has long expressed her intention to pursue other interests outside the company.

Ms. Lester, 43, has not announced plans for a new job.

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