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Friday, May 24, 2024

Truist cutting board from 21 to 13 after investor pressure

Truist Financial is cutting its board of directors from 21 to 13 directs effective Dec. 31.

Four members are retiring because they’ve reached the Charlotte-based bank’s mandatory retirement age, while four others are voluntarily leaving the board.

The move follows a decline in Truist’s share price over recent years following the 2019 combination of Winston-Salem-based BB&T and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks. Various investors have pressed for changes at the company, prompting CEO Bill Rogers to pledge action at an industry conference last month.

After recording $5 billion in charges related to the merger since 2019, Rogers said Truist would cut another $750 million in costs over the next year or two, including substantial job reductions.

Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo issued a blistering report in July that said Truist’s board was too old and too large compared with rivals, most of which have about 13 or 14 directors. At the time of the merger, 11 BB&T and 10 SunTrust directors joined the combined board.

Truist‘s board will now consist of 13 directors, including Rogers and 12 independent board members.

Those leaving the board include former CEO Kelly King, who has worked for Truist and predecessor BB&T for more than 40 years. Other departures include Anna R. Cablik, Paul D. Donahue, Easter A. Maynard, Nido R. Qubein, David M. Ratcliffe, Frank P. Scruggs Jr. and Thomas M. Thompson.

Qubein is the president of High Point University and a longtime BB&T/Truist director. Maynard is the daughter of Raleigh investor James Maynard, who founded the Golden Corral restaurant chain and also served on BB&T’s board for decades.

The remaining North Carolina-based independent director on Truist’s board is Thomas Skains, the former CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas. He is the lead independent director.

“Our board members have worked effectively together to oversee Truist‘s successful formation and integration in a historic operating environment,” Rogers said in a release. “With that integration complete, and several strategic initiatives underway that will guide our path forward, the board remains well positioned to shape, oversee and advance the strategic imperatives of Truist in this period of rapid industry transformation.”

Truist shares closed at $28.61, down 35% over the past year.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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