Zions Bancorp named its capital markets head as interim chief financial officer Friday after Dale M. Gibbons, who is facing criminal charges of drug possession and child endangerment, resigned from that position Thursday night.
The Salt Lake City company said it had hired an executive search firm to find a successor from its own ranks or from the outside.
In the interim W. David Hemingway, an executive vice president of capital markets and investments, will be acting CFO. Mr. Hemingway, who has been at Zions for more than 27 years, was already handling some of the duties often performed by a chief financial officer, such as balance sheet management.
Harris H. Simmons, president and chief executive officer of Zions, said in a statement that its decentralized structure should help the company weather the upheaval. We have a deep pool of financial talent at Zions, including capable CFOs within each of our subsidiary banks.
Late Thursday, Mr. Gibbons released a statement announcing his resignation and saying that he could not effectively execute my obligations and duties to the company with criminal charges pending.
As an innocent man, my focus must be on the court proceedings ahead, the statement said.
Investors and analysts have been readying their suggestions to help Mr. Simmons find a successor. As one of the companys most visible faces, Mr. Gibbons was respected by the cadre of Wall Street analysts and bankers who did business with the company for knowing his numbers cold and his accessibility.
David Winton, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., said he would not be surprised if the successor came from outside the company. Mr. Gibbons own appointment he joined Zions in 1996 after Wells Fargo & Co. bought his previous employer, First Interstate Bancorp shows management is not adverse to going outside the state.
Salt Lake County police have charged Mr. Gibbons with three, third-degree felonies possession of a controlled substance, dealing in harmful material to a minor, and endangerment of a child stemming from a June 12 telephone call by Mr. Gibbons to Salt Lake City paramedics and a subsequent search of his house by police.
In the search, police said that they found 0.9 grams of methamphetamine in Mr. Gibbons nightstand drawer. The police say they have charged him with child endangerment because his 15-year-old daughter was nonresponsive and showed symptoms of an overdose of either GHB or ketamine, a club drug that goes by the name of Special K. When combined with alcohol, the drugs can render a person unrousable.
On Wednesday, Mr. Gibbons appeared before a Salt Lake County Third District Court judge, Paul Maughan, who recused himself from the proceedings because he lives in the same neighborhood as Mr. Gibbons. His next court date is July 12.