The search for a replacement for Arik Pinto as CEO of Hapoalim is officially underway. The bank announced yesterday that a search committee would be formed headed by the bank's chairperson, Oded Eran, and that directors Dalia Lev and Yacov Peer would be committee members.
The committee will seek a replacement for Pinto, who surprised last month when he announced that he would leave his post after just three years.
In contrast to previous changes of leadership at Bank Hapoalim, when it was clear who would be appointed CEO, this time the race seems to be open.
Two senior managers at the bank who see themselves as candidates for the top job are COO Erez Yosef, and Ronen Stein, head of the retail banking division. Yosef is considered to be close to Pinto, while Stein was close to the previous CEO, Zion Kenan. Others who might compete for the post are Yadin Antebi, head of Financial Markets and International Banking, and Gabriel Hamani, who heads Bank Hapoalim's US arm.
In addition, it is not inconceivable that the search committee will turn to external candidates. In that event, a prominent candidate will be Lilach Asher-Topilsky, president and CEO of Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), who has achievements to her name in her current post and who knows Bank Hapoalim well, having served in senior positions there. It is not certain, however, that she is interested in the post.
Another possible candidate is Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, who recently left the post of chairperson of Psagot Investment House Ltd. Abadi-Boiangiu was formerly Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance and CFO of First International Bank of Israel (TASE: FTIN). The search committee may try to find other external candidates, but the restriction on senior bank executive salaries is liable to make it difficult to attract such candidates for this position.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 6, 2019
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