At Bank of Floyd, the times they are a-changing

New director and board chairman John Paul Houston (right) talks with a shareholder after the annual meeting on Tuesday.
New director and board chairman John Paul Houston (right) talks with a shareholder after the annual meeting on Tuesday.

Change is coming fast to Bank of Floyd after shareholders kicked out three incumbent board members and elected a slate of local luminaries backed by North Carolina investor Doug Schaller — now the bank’s largest shareholder.

So far, Cardinal Bankshares — the holding company that controls the bank — has officially announced only the results of Tuesday’s election but we have learned the following from employees and others close to the situation:

Longtime President and CEO Leon Moore is out, replaced — for the time being — by Executive Vice President Miichael Larrowe.  Moore packed up and left Wednesday afternoon after the board reorganized and elected Floyd investment adviser John Paul Houston as its new chairman.  Employees have been told they have a new boss but no public announcement was made by the end of the business day on Thursday.

Two incumbent board members re-elected at the shareholders meeting Tueday — Howard Cundiff, Kevin Mitchell and Harris Warner — made good on their pledge to resign  if any of the challengers were elected.  Conduff, a longtime member of the board, apparently had second thoughts and accepted reappointment.

The departure of Warner and Mitchell leaves Cardinal with four board members.  The new board can appoint two or more new members at their discretion.

The end came swiftly for Moore, who led a contentious and often acrimonious fight against Schaller’s slate of candidates.  Left unresolved is what — if anything — the new board can or will do about a 11th hour change by the old board to Moore’s employment contract that keeps him on the payroll until Dec. 31, pays insurance and other benefits for both he and his wife through 2017 and obligates the bank to pay any legal expenses if he decides to sue over employment-related issues.

Cardinal finally posted the results of Tuesday’s board election with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday afternoon but the company has yet to officially announce Moore’s departure, Larrowes appointment or other news about the new board

Stay tuned.  The drama continues.

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