Phil Baldwin to Retire from Southern Bancorp

Southern Bancorp Inc. on Monday said Phil Baldwin, its president and CEO, is retiring from the organization.

Walter Smiley, chairman of the Southern Bancorp board of directors, will be chairman and interim CEO for firm, which is the holding company for a community development bank and nonprofit affiliates.

Scott Fife has been promoted to president and CEO of Southern Bancorp Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Bancorp Inc. Tanya Wright will continue as group president of Southern Bancorp Inc., overseeing its nonprofit affiliates.

In a news release, the company said Baldwin "will remain at Southern for several months to ensure a seamless transition to new management." Baldwin joined the company in April 2000. The news release said he is retiring "to slow down, spend more time with his family and pursue philanthropic interests."

"Southern will be in very good hands after my retirement based on the succession plan that we've been implementing over the past few months," Baldwin said. "After retirement from Southern, I would hope to work much less, but intend to continue to work in furtherance of providing help to those in need."

Smiley, founder and former chairman and CEO of Systematics Inc., helped establish Southern Bancorp and has served on the board since its founding in 1986.

Fife is president of Southern Bancorp Bank's El Dorado market. He joined Southern in June 2009. 

Wright joined Southern Bancorp in January 2010 from Heifer International, where she was global executive vice president.