Regions Bank Names Merchant Chief Marketing Officer as Elrod Retires

Regions Bank named Abbas Merchant chief marketing officer, succeeding Michele Elrod in leading the bank’s corporate marketing group after Elrod announced her retirement.

“Michele has been the driving force behind the strategic marketing programs that set Regions Bank apart and deepen our connections with the people and communities we serve,” John Turner, president and CEO of Regions Financial, said. “We are tremendously grateful for the immeasurable contributions Michele has made during her career with Regions. I know Abbas will build on Michele’s legacy of keeping customers first while consistently innovating in how we reach consumers and raise Regions’ profile in the marketplace. We are focused on providing personalized experiences and solutions for our customers, and the experience and insights Abbas brings to Regions will help us advance this priority.”

Merchant previously served at M&T Bank as group vice president of consumer and business marketing and customer analytics and sciences. At M&T, he developed the company’s marketing and communications vision and strategy. Before his 12 years at M&T, Merchant led analytics and other marketing operations at U.S. Bancorp and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

“People and businesses have many options when they choose where to bank, and it’s the team, the vision and the values here at Regions that give us a competitive edge in growing our business,” Merchant said. “The art and science of connecting with customers continues to evolve. So does banking itself. The leadership at Regions is dedicated to meeting the needs of customers today, tomorrow and into the future, and I am excited to join colleagues who are laser focused on delivering a superior customer experience while elevating Regions’ name in the minds of consumers and clients.”

During her tenure with Regions and predecessor bank AmSouth, Elrod has been instrumental in creating brands, including the “Relationship People” brand at AmSouth and the “Expect More” brand at Regions after the two companies merged. Elrod and her team also launched Regions’ LifeGreen bicycle, several advertisements and the company’s approach to leveraging social media to serve and support customers.

“The most successful marketing teams take an analytical approach toward understanding people’s needs, and they put the customer first in every decision that is made,” Elrod said. “That’s what we do here at Regions, and I am immensely proud of our accomplishments. I am also excited to see how Abbas and the marketing team will continue Regions’ innovation in marketing and service. Across our industry and beyond, Abbas is well known as a leader in data-driven, customer-focused marketing. I have admired Abbas and the quality of his work for quite some time, and I am thrilled that Regions and our customers will now benefit from his expertise.”

Elrod’s retirement is effective this month. Merchant officially joined the bank on Jan. 19, and has worked closely with Elrod as he assumed his new leadership role.

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