E*Trade Financial (EFTC) announced Thursday that its chairman, Frank Petrilli, has been named interim CEO effective immediately, following the departure of Steven Freiberg from that post. Petrilli, who has served on E*trade’s board since January, will remain chairman while the company searches for a permanent CEO. Freiberg had joined E*Trade in 2010 following a long career at Citigroup.
In the most recent quarter ended June 30, E*Trade reported sharp decreases in both net income and revenue compared with the prior quarter and the year-ago period. Trading volume also declined: in the quarter ended June 30, E*Trade reported 8.7 million trades and daily average revenue trades of 138,653, down 10% and 12%, respectively, over the prior quarter, and down 6% in total trades and 6% in DARTs from the quarter ended June 30, 2011.
In announcing Freiberg’s departure and his appointment as interim CEO, Petrilli (left), 61, said in a statement that E*Trade, is “focused on reducing costs with an enhanced focus on efficiencies. Accordingly, the board believes it is an appropriate time to transition the role of CEO to a new leader to guide the company through the next phase of its evolution.”
Petrilli is no stranger to advisors, at least those of a certain age. From 1995 to 2004, he held several executive positions at TD Waterhouse, including president and CEO, before that company was acquired by Ameritrade in 2005. Another E*Trade board member that advisors may recall, Rodger Lawson, was named lead independent director for the company; Lawson will also sit on the company’s search committee for a permanent CEO, along with Petrilli and three other executives. Lawson, 65, held executive positions at Prudential Financial and Van Eck Global before joining Fidelity, from which he retired in 2010 as president of Fidelity Investments.