Eric Yeaman Named President & COO of First Hawaiian Bank
By Maui Now Staff
Eric K. Yeaman has been named president and chief operating officer of First Hawaiian Bank and elected to its board of directors, effective June 22, 2015, FHB President & CEO Bob Harrison announced today.
Yeaman, 47, has served as president and CEO of Hawaiian Telcom since 2008. He previously held senior positions with Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Kamehameha Schools and the Arthur Andersen accounting and consulting firm.
Yeaman’s appointment was approved unanimously today by the bank’s board of directors, Harrison said.
“We’re delighted to welcome Eric aboard our senior leadership team,” said Harrison. “He is a local boy who knows Hawaiʻi and its people. He understands the Island business community and has a proven track record in building technology solutions that make sense for customers. In addition, he has executive experience in a wide range of businesses as well as a broad financial management background that will strengthen the next generation of our team. Just as important, Eric shares our bank’s values and commitment to customers, employees and the community.”
“I have loved my very rewarding time at Hawaiian Telcom, but this offer to join Hawaiʻi’s largest and most successful bank is too exciting to pass up,” Yeaman said. “I’m looking forward to working with the management and employees of an institution that plays such a key role in economic growth and community service in our islands.”
Harrison has served as president of FHB since 2009; he became CEO in 2012 when predecessor Don Horner retired. Harrison also became chairman of the board of directors in mid-2014.
Ray Ono remains as FHB’s Vice Chairman and Chief Banking Officer with continued responsibility for the bank’s retail banking operations.
Yeaman grew up in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island, where his first job was picking coffee on the farms. He graduated from Konawaena High School, then earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1989.
He is a certified public accountant.
From 1989 to 2000, Yeaman did consulting and audit work for Arthur Andersen LLP, rising to become senior manager. From 2000 to 2003, the part-Hawaiian Yeaman served as chief operating and financial officer at Kamehameha Schools, overseeing its non-educational units and implementing investment policy and strategy for the school’s $8 billion endowment.
He joined Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. as financial vice president and chief financial officer in 2003, taking responsibility for financial strategy, investor relations and pension plan management. He later served as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of its Hawaiian Electric Company subsidiary. In that post, he managed day-to-day operations and helped develop its clean energy strategy.
After joining Hawaiian Telcom in 2008, Yeaman successfully led its financial and operational turnaround, including its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The company, which had lost $150 million in 2007, returned to profitability beginning in 2010 under Yeaman’s leadership and new growth strategy–primarily with the launch of Hawaiian Telcom TV, up to 1 gigabit Internet speeds to the home, advanced managed and cloud-based solutions and data center services.