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Columbia Bank picks new CEO to replace the late Melanie Dressel

Hadley Robbins has been selected as CEO of Columbia Banking System to replace Melanie Dressel, who died unexpectedly in February.
Hadley Robbins has been selected as CEO of Columbia Banking System to replace Melanie Dressel, who died unexpectedly in February. Columbia Bank

Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System has picked from within to fill its chief executive officer spot.

Hadley Robbins, who has been interim CEO since Melanie Dressel’s unexpected death in February, was selected by the bank’s board of directors after a thorough search, the bank announced Wednesday.

He has been the company’s chief operating officer and executive vice president since 2014.

“It was clear that Hadley is the best person to lead Columbia and was the board’s unanimous choice,” board chairman William Weyerhaeuser said in a news release.

He said Robbins proved his ability to lead the company after Dressel’s death.

Robbins has 35 years’ experience in community banking. They include commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management.

“I am deeply honored by the board’s confidence in me, and I look forward to executing the strategic initiatives that have positioned Columbia to emerge as the leading community bank in the Pacific Northwest,” he said.

The news release said Robbins had a “close, collaborative relationship” with Dressel. Robbins also is heavily involved in a pending purchase of Eugene, Oregon’s Pacific Continental Corp.

Robbins has an “inclusive leadership style” and is versatile and decisive, the news release said.

He joined the bank in 2013 after the merger with West Coast Bancorp, where he had been executive vice president and chief credit officer since 2007.

He has previous senior management or executive experience with Wells Fargo Bank, Pacific Northwest Bank, Bank of the Northwest and First Interstate Bank.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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