United Community Banks, Inc. Monday announced that its Board of Directors has appointed H. Lynn Harton, chief executive officer, to serve as United’s chairman of the Board, effective May 8. He succeeds Jimmy Tallent, who has served as United’s chairman since February 2015.
“The Board of Directors is pleased to appoint Lynn as chairman as part of our ongoing management transition at United," said Thomas Richlovsky, lead independent director of United Community Bank. "The Board is confident that Lynn, as chairman and CEO, has the vision and leadership skills to assure that United continues its dedication to quality, profitability, and growth for the benefit of our shareholders, customers, employees, and the communities we serve. Lynn’s planned transition to CEO has been successful, and we see great opportunities on the horizon. We are impressed by Lynn’s ability to preserve the culture of this organization while navigating through a fast-changing environment and building United into one of the best banks in the Southeast.
“At the same time, we recognize that we would not be where we are today without Jimmy’s dedication and outstanding service to United over the past 35 years, for which we are profoundly grateful. We owe our service-oriented culture to Jimmy and remain focused on sustaining the core values that he instilled in our organization.”
Mr. Harton has been one of the key architects of United’s strategic vision since joining the company as chief operating officer in 2012. He was elected to the Board of Directors in February 2015 and named CEO of United on July 2, 2018. Prior to joining United, Mr. Harton served in executive capacities with various financial institutions including The South Financial Group, Regions Financial Corporation and BB&T.
Since Mr. Harton joined the company, United has completed seven key acquisitions and has grown from $7 billion in total assets and 100 offices, to $12.6 billion in assets and 149 offices throughout five states. During this period, United’s performance has also improved significantly, with the most recent quarter reflecting a record operating ROA of 1.44 percent.
“I am honored to take on this responsibility as chairman of United,” said Mr. Harton. “Having worked closely with Jimmy to craft the long-term plan for the company, I feel confident about our ability to continue to deliver a strong performance for shareholders. I look forward to leading our talented directors, executive team and employees together in our goal to be the best bank where the best bankers want to work.”