Robert E. Gibson, who in 30 years with Van Nuys-based Valley Federal Savings & Loan Assn. rose through management ranks to become chairman and chief executive officer, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.
Gibson died Thursday at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys.
Besides running the largest financial institution in the San Fernando Valley, Gibson was an active business and civic leader. In 1985, he was vice chairman of the California League of Savings Institutions, the industry's state trade group. He also was once president of the Van Nuys Chamber of Commerce, was on the board of directors of Valley Presbyterian Hospital and held many executive positions with regional branches of the United Way and YMCA.
Gibson was a native of Olympia, Wash. He graduated from Manual Arts High School in 1946 and from USC in 1950. After serving two years in the Army, he took his first job in the banking business at California Bank, now part of First Interstate.
In 1956, he joined Valley Federal as operations officer. He served in a number of senior mangement positions until 1969, when he was elected to the board of directors. In 1977 he was named president and chief executive officer and, five years later, became board chairman.