George Makris to Succeed Tommy May as Simmons CEO in 2014

by Lance Turner  on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 3:53 pm  

George Makris

  • Bob Fehlman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will become senior executive vice president and chief financial officer and take on new duties as corporate treasurer, a newly created position that will report to the corporate chairman and CEO.
  • Marty Casteel, executive vice president of both Simmons First National Corporation and Simmons First National Bank, will continue his administrative duties in the corporation reporting to the corporate CEO, but he will also take on the additional title of chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Bank, reporting to the president and chief banking officer of the corporation. He will also become a member of the Simmons First National Bank board of directors.
  • Craig Hunt, executive vice president with Simmons First National Bank, has been promoted to president of Simmons First National Bank and will also assume new duties as the corporate chief credit officer. Hunt will report to the chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Bank and will become a member of the bank board of directors.  

Most Admired

May became CEO of Simmons (Nasdaq: SFNC) in 1994, and during the next decade he executed 10 traditional acquisitions to expand the company's footprint throughout Arkansas. He is among the most admired chief executives in Arkansas.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with a disease similar to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Since then, he has continued to lead Simmons First National Corp. - the parent company of Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff and seven smaller bank charters - to growth over more than 30 percent.

The bank has also remained profitable despite sluggish loan demand during and after the Great Recession and the federal takeover of the student loan business in which Simmons had been particularly active.

Simmons First National Corp. earned $25.4 million in 2011, down from $37.12 million in 2010. But core earnings were down only slightly because $11 million of 2010's earnings represented the after-tax gain on FDIC-assisted acquisitions. 


CEO Profile: J. Thomas May

(Gwen Moritz contributed to this report.)



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