Bendigo Bank shares fall on surprise CEO exit

This regional bank's CEO is stepping down after six years in the role.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) shares are under pressure on Tuesday morning.

At the time of writing, the regional bank's shares are down 1% to $11.31.

Bendigo Bank shares fall on CEO exit

This morning, the regional bank announced that its CEO, Marnie Baker, has decided to step down from the role.

According to the release, Ms Baker intends to leave after 35 years with the company and six years as its leader at the end of next month.

The outgoing CEO leaves on good terms with the bank's board. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's chair, Vicki Carter, "thanked Ms Baker for her decades of service and leadership of the Bank through a period of great opportunity and significant challenge, which included frequent natural disasters, COVID-19 and record low interest rates."

Carter also praised "Marnie's authentic leadership style" and "the execution of a significant and necessary transformation agenda which included the consolidation of core banking platforms, brands and divisions."

Replacement announced

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's shares are falling today despite the bank already identifying and appointing its next CEO.

The release reveals that its current chief customer officer for consumer, Richard Fennell, will take the reins on 31 August on a $1.5 million a year contract.

Carter notes "Mr Fennell's strong focus on the customer, his achievements in digital and significant financial expertise were among the key attributes the Board prioritised in its detailed succession planning, which included a comprehensive external search."

The company's chair believes the bank is "in a position of strength and Richard is well placed to lead the next phase of [its] sustainable growth agenda."

Fennell appears confident that he is up to the job. Commenting on his appointment, he said:

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is a unique institution that plays an important role in providing Australian banking consumers with a genuine and compelling alternative to the majors. I am grateful for the transformation work Marnie has driven to create strong foundations for the Bank and I am proud to accept the responsibility for leading Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and ensuring its future success.

I look forward to connecting with all of our people who work hard every day to deliver great outcomes for our customers as we work together to find new ways to ensure the Bank can continue to deliver on its purpose of feeding into the prosperity of our customers and the community.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's shares are up 30% over the past 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bendigo And Adelaide Bank. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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