Less than two years after taking the role, Richard Marotta is stepping down as president and CEO of Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE:BHLB) to "pursue new opportunities."

Marotta will be replaced on an acting basis by Sean Gray, senior executive vice president of the parent company and president and COO of Berkshire Bank, which has $13 billion in assets. The board of directors plans to conduct a full search for a new chief executive and will consider both internal and external candidates, including Gray.

A bank.

Image source: Getty Images.

Marotta, who had worked at the bank for more than a decade, became CEO at the end of 2018 after Michael Daly abruptly resigned as chief executive. Soon after Daly left, a Piper Jaffray analyst put out a research note describing a "toxic workplace environment" at the bank while Daly had been at the helm .

Marotta came in and helped integrate several acquisitions. He also took on workplace culture issues head-on, and made social responsibility a big part of the company's new brand image.

But the stock price has suffered tremendously under Marotta, declining from more than roughly $34 per share when he came on to less than $11 per share now. While the majority of the dip came during the coronavirus pandemic, the stock has still fared much worse than the overall banking sector, down about 67% year to date.

In its most recent earnings report, Berkshire reported a nearly $550 million loss in the second quarter, driven by a $554 million goodwill impairment charge

J. Williar Dunlaevy, chairman of the board of directors of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, said in the press release, "We wish him the best in all his future endeavors."

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