Lance C. Blue has resigned his position as vice chairman and chief executive officer of CommerceBank to open an Orange County office for a competing financial institution, said Clyde H. Gossert, president of the Newport Beach bank.
Blue, 47, reportedly will join the slightly larger First Business Bank of Los Angeles early next month as regional manager of a proposed new operation to be based in Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza. First Business still is awaiting State Banking Department approval for the new branch.
Blue, who left CommerceBank on Dec. 2, could not be reached for comment.
Gossert, 45, assumed Blue's duties as chief executive. The position of vice chairman was abolished.
"This is something Lance has been considering for some time," Gossert said. "He made a determination that he wants to take advantage of another opportunity that became available. We wish him well. . . . No one here wanted him to leave."
Blue had been with CommerceBank since it opened in February, 1979, and became chief executive in March, 1983, when David T. Blankenhorn, then the chief executive, resigned suddenly as part of a restructuring of the bank's executive ranks.