KeyCorp's Beth Mooney to retire; Gorman named successor

KeyCorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney, the first woman in history to lead a top-20 U.S. bank, is retiring next year and will be replaced by Key’s president of banking, Chris Gorman.

The Cleveland company said Thursday that Gorman has been elevated to president and chief operating officer and will serve in those roles until taking over for Mooney on May 1.

Mooney, who is 64 years old, joined KeyCorp in 2006 and ran Key’s community banking business until 2011, when she replaced Henry Meyer as chairman and CEO. Four years later, Key struck the largest deal in its history when it said it would acquire $40 billion-asset First Niagara Financial Group in Buffalo, N.Y., for $4.1 billion. The sale closed in late 2016.

Keycorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney.
Beth Mooney, chief executive officer of KeyCorp, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. KeyCorp, which has 1,059 branches, is targeting $150 million to $200 million of expense reductions by December 2013, the Cleveland-based lender said in a statement. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Beth Mooney

Key had roughly $87 billion of assets when Mooney took the helm eight-and-a-half years ago and has nearly $145 billion of assets today.

Mooney was named American Banker’s Banker of the Year in 2017 and was its most Most Powerful Woman in Banking in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“My time at Key has represented some of the most rewarding years in my 40 years in banking,” Mooney said in the press release announcing her retirement. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and I look forward to continued success under the leadership of Chris and the diverse and talented team at KeyBank.”

In the news release, Sandy Cutler, the lead independent director of KeyCorp’s board, praised Mooney “for her transformational leadership — from building a strong culture that attracts and retains talent, to delivering value for our shareholders while maintaining a client focus, to creating the blueprint in how to effectively invest in our communities.”

He added that the board has worked closely with Gorman “and know that he will continue to lead Key with a focus on growth while maintaining Key’s values.”

Gorman joined KeyCorp in 2002 and has been widely credited with leading the integration of First Niagara. He had most recently served as a vice chairman and president of banking.

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