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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 9:02 a.m., Monday, July 26, 2004

Bank of Hawaii CEO O'Neill stepping down

Associated Press

Bank of Hawaii chairman and chief executive office Michael O'Neill is stepping down Sept. 1, the company announced today.

O'Neill, the affable executive who starred in his own television commercials, is stepping down after having completed a three-year strategic plan to improve operating performance and profitability, the Bank of Hawaii Corp. said in a news release.

Bank of Hawaii is the state's largest bank with reported 2003 earnings of $135.2 million on $9.5 billion in total assets.

"My work at the bank is done," O'Neill said. "Bank of Hawaii is in excellent shape and I believe it is well positioned for the future."

Allan R. Landon, the bank's president and chief operating officer, has been tapped to succeed O'Neill and will retain the title of president, the corporation said.

O'Neill, who became chairman and CEO in November 2000, also is leaving the bank's board of directors. The bank in May said O'Neill has not taken a salary or any bonuses during his three years at the helm, but controls about 2.73 million — about 5 percent — of the bank's total shares directly or under option.

Net income for 2003 equated to earnings of $2.21 per share, up from the $1.48 per share in 2000 when O'Neill took over.

For the first six months of 2004, the bank reported net income of $84 million, up from $60 million during the same six-month period a year ago. Earnings per diluted share over that time rose to $1.48 per share, up from 95 cents.

The first half of the year was boosted by second quarter earnings of $44.2 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, up from $30 million, or 48 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2003.

O'Neill has attributed the company's rise in income to a technology systems overhaul and the growing Hawai'i economy.

Earlier this year, O'Neill noted that the bank in 2003 completed its first three-year plan, which included selling off most operations outside Hawai'i and replacing an aging technology system.

The company in 2004 embarked on a new three-year plan focusing on increasing revenue, developing management teams and increasing efficiency. The new three-year plan was not expected to result in large layoffs. About 100 employees were cut when the bank upgraded its technology system.

Bank of Hawaii had forecast net income of $157 million for all of 2004.

Shares were down 45 cents at $44.87 in midday trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.