The E*Trade Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC) Board of Directors today announced that Donald H. Layton, 59, will step down as Chairman and CEO of the Company at the end of 2009 when his contract expires.
In doing so, Mr. Layton will have delivered on his commitment to the Board, made when he joined the Company, to oversee a recapitalization of E*TRADE's balance sheet and lead a restructuring effort that has set the Company's online brokerage business back on a growth trajectory.
Mr. Layton will retain all of his current responsibilities until his contract ends, and will work in partnership with a special committee of the Board of Directors to oversee a search for his successor. E*TRADE expects to name a new CEO before the end of the year.
Named Chairman of E*TRADE's Board in late 2007 after helping the Company secure a $2.5 billion capital infusion, Mr. Layton shortly thereafter agreed to become CEO through year-end 2009 to oversee development and implementation of the Company's Turnaround plan. Under his tenure, E*TRADE raised significant amounts of new capital and liquidity, substantially reduced the Company's balance sheet risk, re-energized the Company's core online brokerage business, recruited key senior executives and reorganized the management and strategy of the Company.
In making the announcement, Robert Druskin, Lead Independent Director of E*TRADE FINANCIAL, said, "We are very grateful for the many invaluable contributions Don has made in helping E*TRADE navigate these extremely difficult economic times. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, E*TRADE has evolved under his leadership into a company that is poised to take advantage of new growth opportunities, particularly in its online brokerage business. We wish him the best in the future."
Mr. Layton said, "It was an exciting but very challenging time as E*TRADE dealt successfully with the severe financial distress of the last two years. Now that our major recapitalization is complete and the online brokerage business is growing again, I have accomplished what was needed for me to end my time as CEO on schedule. I wish to thank everyone involved - it was a great team effort."