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PNC names Demchak as new CEO

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 4:27 p.m.
PNC named William Demchak its new CEO on Thursday, February 14, 2013.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
James Rohr announced Feb. 14, 2013, that he will step down as CEO of PNC Bank after 13 years in which he presided over tremendous growth and steered the bank through the worst downturn in the economy since the Great Depression.

James Rohr will step down as CEO of PNC Bank after 13 years in which he presided over tremendous growth and steered the bank through the worst downturn in the economy since the Great Depression.

Rohr, 64, who will stay on as executive chairman of PNC starting April 23 for one year before retiring, told employees in an internal message on Thursday that in being PNC's chief executive, “There was no more challenging or rewarding job in the industry.”

In a long-anticipated move, PNC named William Demchak its new CEO. Demchak has been the Downtown-based bank's president since last year.

Rohr joined PNC in 1972 and has been at the bank's helm since May 2000. Since then, the bank:

• More than doubled employment, from 26,000 people to 56,000

• Nearly quadrupled the number of states in which it has branches, from five to 19 and the District of Columbia

• Quadrupled assets, from $74.3 billion to $305.1 billion

Rohr was not available for comment. He steered PNC through the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, acquiring Cleveland-based National City Corp. in 2008. PNC added the American retail banking operation of Royal Bank of Canada in 2011.

That growth demanded more office space Downtown, and Rohr made the 2011 announcement that PNC would build a $400 million skyscraper that is expected to open in 2015.

Rohr's move will “ensure a smooth transition,” PNC said.

Demchak, 50, a Pittsburgh native, was not available for comment, PNC spokesman Fred Solomon said.

“Bill has demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining PNC in 2002,” Rohr said in a prepared statement.

“As president, he drove customer growth by successfully aligning our businesses to deliver the entire company for our clients,” Rohr said. “His candor and work ethic have earned him the trust of employees and investors, and the confidence of PNC's board. He deserves the opportunity to steer PNC into the future.”

Demchak joined PNC as vice chairman and chief financial officer from JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he was global head of structured finance and credit portfolio.

He was named senior vice chairman in September 2010 to supervise all of PNC's businesses, adding asset management and retail banking to his responsibilities.

In April, Demchak was promoted to president in a move widely seen as evidence he was next in line to be CEO of the nation's seventh-largest bank.

He is a graduate of Fox Chapel High School and Allegheny College in Meadville. He has a master's of business administration from the University of Michigan.

PNC announced Demchak's promotion after stock markets closed on Thursday. PNC shares were up 13 cents a share to $64 in after-hours trading.

Rohr received $16.6 million in total compensation in 2011, the most recent year for which PNC released executive compensation. Demchak was paid $9.3 million.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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