Keane stepping down as Synchrony CEO

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Margaret Keane, the CEO of Synchrony Financial, will resign this spring as part of a CEO succession plan, the Stamford, Conn., company said Tuesday.

Effective April 1, Keane will leave her post as chief executive and become executive chair of the $96 billion-asset company’s board of directors. Brian Doubles, who is currently president, will become president and CEO and will also join the company’s board of directors.

Brian Doubles was Synchrony's chief financial officer before being named president in 2019.
Brian Doubles was Synchrony's chief financial officer before being named president in 2019.

In a press release, Keane said that she and Doubles had worked together for over a decade and praised his recent work on the company’s strategy and key growth initiatives.

“With Synchrony in a position of strength, now is the right time to begin this planned leadership transition,” she said. “Brian has helped build this company every step of the way and is the natural successor to advance our progress and lead Synchrony through the next stage of our journey.”

Keane, 61, has run the private-label credit card business since 2011, when it was General Electric Capital Retail Finance. She steered the company through its initial public offering in 2014 and oversaw its rebranding as Synchrony Financial. The company is now the largest issuer of private-label credit cards in the U.S. and has partnered with retailers that include Gap Inc., Verizon and Amazon.

A mainstay in American Banker’s ranking of the Most Powerful Women in Banking, Keane also earned praise for making Synchrony a good corporate citizen and an attractive place to work.

Doubles, 45, has been with Synchrony for 11 years. He was the company’s chief financial officer before and during its IPO, and he was named president in 2019.

Additionally, Synchrony said Tuesday that its current board chairman, Robert Hartnack, will retire as part of the transition plan. It also said that Jeffrey Naylor, who has served on the board since 2014, will become the lead independent director.

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