PITTSBURGH — Mellon Bank today announced the retirement of Chairman J. David Barnes, who had been under pressure since acknowledging management mistakes that led to the first quarterly loss in the bank's 118-year history.
The board of directors Sunday elected its senior member, Nathan W. Pearson, 75, to fill the vacancy until a search committee can find a new chairman and chief executive.
Mellon on Friday confirmed what Barnes had predicted on April 2: A $60-million first-quarter loss and a 50% reduction of the common stock dividend. He said it was unclear when the bank's finances could be turned around.
The bank was hurt by troubled loans to developing nations, primarily Brazil, and loans to the energy-dependent Southwest United States.
Barnes, 57, joined Mellon in 1956. The bank's parent company, Mellon Bank Corp., is the nation's 12th-largest bank-holding company.