In a surprise appointment, the $1.45 billion North Island Financial Credit Union of San Diego, one of California's troubled CUs, announced Thursday it has hired veteran and retired CEO John Tippets, former head of American Airlines FCU in Dallas as its new CEO.
Tippets, who retired from the Texas CU in June 2008 after 17 years at its helm, succeeded Michael Maslak. Maslak retired from the CU in January after the CU posted a dismal 2008 with a $50 million loss and at March 31 had one of the nation's lowest capital ratios at 2.16%. North Island has since climbed to 4.16%, but is still dealing with real estate losses from the California housing collapse.
Tippets, 68, said he "is thrilled to be back in an industry that I love and with a credit union with a great history and a loyal membership." His first day on the job was today, but he has been involved in talks with the North Island board since June.
North Island has long been under NCUA scrutiny "and I'm sure NCUA had some input on my appointment," said Tippets.
Since Maslak's departure, North Island has been functioning with an interim CEO duo, Geri Dillingham, chief operating officer and Kim Reedy, chief financial officer.
The San Diego CU has closed four branches during the year and has pared its payroll by 20% to 351, a drop of 120.
"John Tippets has a distinguished credit union career, including leading one of the country's largest credit unions for seventeen years, which makes him an excellent choice," said Jack Lewis, North Island chairman.