TotalBank president and CEO Luis de la Aguilera handed in his resignation Monday, weeks after the bank laid off at least 15 percent of its workers.
De la Aguilera has worked at the Miami-based bank since 2000, taking over as CEO last year.
His replacement has already been chosen: TotalBank chairman Jorge Rossell will once again serve as CEO, a role he held from 2009 to 2013, according to a news release from the bank.
Last month, TotalBank confirmed it had laid off 58 employees. In a statement, Rossell said it was a “business as usual” decision resulting from improvements in “technology, talent and infrastructure.”
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But former employees told the Miami Herald more than 100 employees have left and that TotalBank’s owner, Banco Popular Español, of Spain, wants to cut costs so it can make the bank more attractive to potential buyers.
TotalBank moved into expensive new headquarters in downtown Miami and hired about 100 employees last year.
“I think they got carried away,” said one former employee who asked not to be named. “They saw a market in recovery after the crisis and they thought they could grow indefinitely.”
De la Aguilera could be headed to U.S. Century Bank, which has been looking for a new CEO since Carlos Davila announced he would step down at the end of the year, one banking industry source said.
Benigno Pazos, who had been chief credit officer at TotalBank but resigned during the recent layoffs, joined U.S. Century on Monday in the same position.
Doral-based U.S. Century barely stayed afloat after the financial crisis but was rescued by a $65 million recapitalization deal with two Northeast financial firms.