AMESBURY — Longtime Provident Bank executive Charlie Cullen has announced that he will be stepping down as the bank’s president and CEO as part of a planned executive leadership transition process years in the making.
Cullen will remain with the Amesbury-based bank as executive chairman, meaning he will take over as chairman of the board while maintaining a day-to-day presence at the bank’s offices throughout the transition period. His former duties as president and CEO will be divided between two top executives, which he said would better position the bank going forward while allowing it to maintain its top talent.
Dave Mansfield, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer, will take over as CEO and will be responsible for the bank’s daily operations, while Charles Withee, formerly executive vice president and senior loan officer, will become president and will run the bank’s commercial lending arm while functioning as “the face of the bank,” Cullen said.
The moves were approved yesterday by the bank’s board of directors.
In his 10 years at the bank, Cullen has become well known as the face of the Provident in the Newburyport area, taking on some public roles that are far from traditional for a bank president. With fanfare and humor he leads his employees in Amesbury’s annual Santa Parade, and he strums his ukulele to accompany his own homecooked songs roasting local politicians at an annual St. Patrick’s Day charity fundraiser in Newburyport. He’s also had more traditional leadership roles in organizations such as Anna Jaques Hospital and Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce.
In his new role, Cullen will still initially be the top figure at the bank, but he will stay on for three more years while Mansfield and Withee settle into their new roles so that ultimately they will be the ones to lead the bank into the future.