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Peoples announces Morthland to retire

The Peoples BancTrust Company announced Tuesday that CEO Richard P. Morthland, will retire effective Dec. 31 after serving as CEO since 1992.

Morthland has been elected director emeritus and will continue to be involved as a consultant for the company and the Bank.

The board of directors named Ted M. Henry, a director of Peoples BancTrust, as chairman of the board. The board also announced that Elam P. Holley Jr. will assume the role of CEO. Holley currently serves as president and chief operating cfficer of the Company and the Bank.

The company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol PBTC. The stock closed Tuesday at $12.92 per share, down 8 cents.

“We want to thank Dick Morthland for more than 40 years of service to Peoples,” Henry said. “He was a key leader in our successful expansion program that was launched in 1983.”

Henry noted that since that time, Peoples has grown from $146 million in assets to more than $700 million, with offices in nine Alabama counties, including three of the state’s five fastest-growing communities.

“This growth was largely due to the successful strategy developed by Dick and the strong management team he has built,” Henry said. “We are fortunate that the Bank has been led by a person with such character, dedication and ability as Dick Morthland.”

Henry, 64, has served as director since 1968 of both the predecessor bank and of The Peoples BancTrust since its formation in 1984. Henry is the longest serving member on the board. He is also chairman and chief executive officer of Henry Brick Company.

He attended Davidson College and the University of Alabama where he received a B.S. in industrial management.

Henry praised Holley’s contributions to the bank.

“The elevation of Elam Holley to chief executive officer of Peoples BancTrust highlights the contributions he has made since joining the Bank in 1973,” he said. “He has distinguished himself as a strong leader. His promotion to president and chief operating officer in 1994 recognized his knowledge of our bank, our markets and his role in executing our growth strategy.”

Henry said Holley has played an active role in Peoples’ acquisition of Merchants and Planters Bank of Montevallo and the Bank of Tallassee, and in the addition of branches in key markets.

“We are pleased to have someone with Elam’s experience to continue building on our strong tradition of profitable growth,” Henry said.

Holley, 52, is a graduate of the University of Alabama and received his Juris Doctorate from Jones Law School. He is also a graduate of The School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University and The Graduate School for Bank Administration at The University of Wisconsin. Holley currently serves on the board of directors for the Dallas County Economic Development Authority, the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce (immediate past chairman) and as a trustee at Marion Military Institute.