Robert P. Kelly, the chairman and CEO of BNY Mellon, the nation's sixth-largest bank, stepped down on Wednesday due to "differences in approach to managing the company."
The company did not spell out what differences led to Kelly's ouster or elaborate on the unusual statement.
Gerald L. Hassell, BNY Mellon's president and a longtime board member, was tapped to lead the New York bank, whose customers are mainly large pension funds and money market funds.
Kelly has led Bank of New York Mellon Corp. since the combination of Bank of New York and Mellon Financial Corp. in 2007.
He was a contender to take the helm at Bank of America Corp. when the nation's largest bank by assets searched for a new CEO in 2009. He reportedly did not land the job because of concerns over the pay package he sought. Earlier Wednesday, Kelly was named in a report that listed 25 chief executives who earned more than their companies paid in taxes in 2010.
BNY Mellon often operates under the radar, but made news early this month when it said it will charge customers a fee to hold cash deposits over $50 million.
The bank said Hassell has led nearly every major division of the company during his three decades with the bank and its predecessor.
"He brings a broad and deep knowledge of our operations, our clients, our industry and our culture to his new roles," said lead director Wesley W. von Schack in a statement.
Kelly said in the statement the bank has "navigated tremendously difficult markets" during his tenure. BNY Mellon lost money in the third quarter of 2009, but otherwise remained profitable during the financial crisis and recession, unlike most other large U.S. banks.
Kelly's departure comes three weeks after BNY Mellon said that it will cut about 1,500 jobs, or 3 percent of its work force. At the time, Kelly said the bank's revenue had been growing, but expenses were "growing unsustainably faster."
BNY Mellon shares slipped 33 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $20.34 in aftermarket trading following the announcement. The stock closed the regular session down 15 cents at $20.67.