STILLWATER — Southwest Bancorp Inc., parent of Stillwater National Bank, has launched a national search for the successor to President and CEO Rick Green, who plans to step down at year's end, the company said Thursday.
“I would like for two of my last accomplishments at Southwest to be leaving a strong management team in place as well as finding a successor CEO who is ready to lead Southwest into the future,” Green said in a statement issued by the company. “My goal has always been to retire at age 65, and I believe this is an opportune time to start that process.”
Green, 64, intends to “fully retire” in January, provided a successor is in place at that time, the company said. Green has served as CEO since Jan. 1, 1999. Last year, Green was paid $521,838, according to regulatory filings.
Green and the firm's directors have hired Fraser Keating Associates LLC to help in the search.
Late last year, Southwest sold a portfolio of troubled real estate and other nonperforming loans with a book value of $301.6 million at a net pretax loss of $101.2 million. The company's stock has gained 87 percent since the sale was announced in December.
Green said the company now “is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead with improved credit quality and capital that substantially exceeds regulatory standards.”
Board Chairman Robert Rodgers expressed appreciation for Green's service.
“We believe that the recent decisions and restructurings within Southwest under Rick's leadership have positioned the company to attract an experienced, well-qualified individual to replace our longtime, respected CEO,” Rodgers said.
The company on Thursday also announced the promotion and appointment of three executives.
Priscilla Barnes, 55, was promoted to chief operating officer from chief credit officer. Brent Bates, 37, was promoted to chief credit officer, after serving as senior credit officer of Stillwater National.
Green said Barnes and Bates played critical roles in the recent sales of assets.
Rusty LaForge, 37, has joined the company as general counsel, leaving McAfee & Taft, where he led the banking and financial institutions practice.
Southwest is the bank holding company for Stillwater National Bank and Trust Co. and Bank of Kansas.