Announcement

Berkshire Announces Executive Leadership Transition

Current Bank President Sean Gray named Acting CEO

Keith Griffin

August 17, 2020

Sean Gray Acting CEO Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Berkshire Bank, announced that Richard M. Marotta stepped down from his position as president and CEO of the company and CEO of the bank, as well as from his role as a director to pursue new opportunities.

The bank's leadership succession planning process concluded with the board choosing Sean A. Gray, current senior executive vice president of the company and president and chief operating officer of the bank, to serve as acting president and CEO for the company. The board will initiate a CEO search process to consider candidates inside and outside of Berkshire, and Gray will be a candidate in that search process.

The Boston Globe reported Marotta’s sudden departure follows a disappointing earnings report from the bank. On July 29, the bank recorded a second-quarter loss because of non-cash charges related to “goodwill impairment” and credit losses, both stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank opted to account for a goodwill charge of $554 million because of a decline in the value of bank stocks, including Berkshire’s, due to the macroeconomic impacts of the pandemic. The bank also recorded a $30 million charge to account for greater-than-projected credit losses related to the pandemic.

According to the Worcester Business Journal, Marotta is the second CEO to suddenly step down from the bank since 2018. His predecessor, Michael Daly, abruptly resigned as president and CEO in November 2018, with little explanation for the departure. Daly received $7.5 million as a severance package.

As CEO, in addition to the implementation of the Bank's Be FIRST values, Marotta led the launch of Reevx Labs, the bank's initiative for investment in local communities to help individuals and small businesses access banking services and capital. Under Marotta's tenure, the bank expanded its outreach to diverse communities, achieved greater diversity in its executive/senior management ranks, and has been recognized as a leader among its peers in environmental, social & corporate governance rankings.

"I am proud to have been part of the leadership team that doubled the size of the Bank to $13.1 billion in assets, while overseeing the successful integration of numerous bank acquisitions, and achieving targeted merger efficiencies and market share retention," said Richard Marotta. "And as CEO, I am most proud to have established and implemented the Bank's Be FIRST values, making social responsibility an integral component of the Bank's identity as a purpose driven 21st century community bank."

Berkshire Bank, headquartered in Massachusetts, has branches in Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. As of the end of 2019, Berkshire employed about 1,550 people.

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