Fifth Third Bank Chairman Gordon E. Inman just announced he is stepping down from the post he held for almost seven years. Inman co-founded Franklin Financial which later merged with Cincinnati's own Fifth Third Bank in 2004.
Inman, who has had any number of successes in industries from real estate and banking to telecommunications, told reporters he is leaving the bank to pursue other opportunities. He added this:
“At this point, I’m ready to move on to several opportunities that have presented themselves and to which I want to give some undivided attention."
President and CEO of Fifth Third Tennessee, Dan Hogan, will be the interim chairman until April, according to the news. Hogan said; “At our request, Gordon graciously agreed to remain as chairman for a period of time beyond our original contract, and we have been most appreciative of his additional time and commitment."
For those who are unfamiliar, Gordon E. Inman is one of Tennessee's most influential and successful business people. A trustee of Belmont University, and entrepreneur who made an extraordinary path into the upper echelons of business in Tennessee, Inman began like so many from his generation, washing cars - later filling them with gas, and then translating hard work into margins in real estate and banking. His is a fascinating story, and a bit of an American one.
Inman, who leaves something of a "Midas touch" legacy behind, is also a generous philanthropist who has benefited Tennessee a great deal. In one instance of uncommon charity, Inman gave $10 million to Belmont University to build a new complex to house the university's College of Health Sciences & Nursing (PDF) - the Gordon E. Inman Center (above) took 20 months to build and cost $22.4 million in the end. Inman gave no more clues into what area his energies will be directed.