In a sudden and unexpected turn of events, Vernon Hill has been removed as chairman of Republic First Bancorp.
Hill was replaced by Harry Madonna, his predecessor at the $5.7 billion-asset company, following the death of Theodore Flocco.
Flocco’s passing led to a power shift on the divided board, allowing a faction opposed to Hill to oust him. Hill remains Republic First’s CEO and a director – for now.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the board and our employees and creating value for our constituents,” Madonna, who was named interim chairman, said in a Friday press release.
The move comes at a time when Republic First faces pressure from two investor groups to improve performance. A group led by George Norcross and George Braca is seeking to remove Hill from his management roles.
The Norcross-Braca group has offered to buy the company on the condition that Hill is no longer involved with it. Driver Management, another shareholder, wants to replace three board members, including Hill.
The latest face-off between Republic First and the investors has been playing out in recent weeks. The company said it would need to delay its annual meeting while conducting a probe into related-party transactions, a move that has drawn objections from the investors.