Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank CEO Eli Yones to Retire in a Year

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Eli Yones will step down as CEO of Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank when his contract expires next year, he announced Wednesday.

Yones, who has been on the job since 2004, delivered the news at a meeting of the bank's board Wednesday, saying he had no intention of remaining in the position after his current contract expires in April 2014.

"My time as CEO of Mizrahi-Tefahot is the longest that I have served in any managerial position in the public and business sector," Yones said. He added that it would be healthy for the bank to have a change in personnel at the top, and that new ideas would help the bank to continue to develop.

Yones has been lauded for the bank's impressive financial results since he has been at its helm. Shares in the bank dropped briefly in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading Wednesday but recovered to end up 0.4% higher at NIS 36.19.

Yones said he made the decision to announce his resignation a year in advance to let the board carry out an orderly and thorough search for his replacement. He called on the board to get the process under way as quickly as possible to ensure continuity at Mizrahi and to minimize any period of uncertainty.

Yones is one of the country's highest paid salaried employees, with two stock option packages as part of his compensation as CEO. His entire compensation package from the bank is currently valued at an estimated NIS 250 million before taxes.

Yones was previously CEO of Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi's much larger rival, but he was forced to step down in 2003 after only one year on the job. He had reportedly lost the confidence of some of the bank's controlling shareholders over the extent to which the bank should have made provisions for doubtful debt, and a dispute over shareholders' management role.

Eli YonesCredit: Ofer Vaknin

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