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Monday, February 4, 2002


Bankoh president Dahl
stepping down


By Russ Lynch
rlynch@starbulletin.com

Richard Dahl, president of Bank of Hawaii and its parent Pacific Century Corp., will leave the company at the end of March, the bank said today.

Art Dahl, 50, had been a key member of the management team of Lawrence S. Johnson, who left the posts of chairman and chief executive of Pacific Century in late 2000 in the wake of declining earnings and a poor stock performance.

When Johnson in August 2000 announced his intention to retire, Dahl was an in-house candidate to be his successor.

However, former Bank of America Vice Chairman Michael O'Neill was chosen and brought in some of his own executives, quickly moving into a plan to trim off a number of operations outside Hawaii that had been put in place by the Johnson team.

Dahl then led the effort, now successfully concluded, to divest the company of those non-strategic assets in California and Arizona, much of the South Pacific and Asia. The company said Dahl will stay on through this month and next to conclude the final details of the divestitures.

The successful restructuring to let the company concentrate on its core businesses in Hawaii, the Western Pacific and American Samoa, received praise from analysts and helped boost Pacific Century's stock price.

Dahl will benefit from that, too. He has about 200,000 shares of Pacific Century stock, according to filings at the Securities & Exchange Commission. They would be worth some $5 million at current prices.

Pacific Century's stock closed down 40 cents today at $24.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dahl had a base salary of $525,000 in 2000, the last year for which Pacific Century filed a proxy statement at the SEC. He could not be reached for comment.

O'Neill today praised Dahl's management of the divestiture effort. "He did a first-class job in handling what turned out to be, in some cases, very complex deals," he said.

"Once we told Wall Street what we planned to do, it was critical that we execute as promised. I give Richard full credit for getting the job done," O'Neill said.

The restructuring returned some $400 million in capital to the company, increasing liquidity and significantly strengthening the balance sheet, he said.

O'Neill said he had a "strong personal preference" for Dahl to remain with the bank but he chose to leave.

Dahl said he wants to seek work with companies that have business interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dahl joined Bank of Hawaii in 1981 as vice president and controller and was elevated in 1983 to senior vice president. He was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of the bank in 1987 and a vice-chairman in 1989.

In 1994, he was named president of both Bank of Hawaii and the parent, then called Bancorp Hawaii, and later that year became president and chief operating officer of the bank and the newly named Pacific Century.



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