GLEN ALLEN, Va., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Community Bankers Trust Corporation, the holding company for Essex Bank (the "Company") (NYSE Amex: BTC), announced today that George M. Longest, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Essex Bank, has stepped down from those positions, effective immediately. The Company announced further that the Board of Directors has directed its Executive Committee to begin immediately a search to identify and hire a new chief executive officer for the Company. During the interim period, Rex L. Smith, III, the Bank's Chief Banking Officer, will assume the responsibilities of the president and chief executive officer. Mr. Longest will assist with the management transition and assume new responsibilities at a non-management level within the Bank.
The Company also announced that it is implementing an expense reduction initiative that includes the elimination of certain management-level positions and the planned centralization of remaining support services from the Maryland and Georgia operations to the Company's Virginia headquarters. This initiative will decrease expenses through the reduction of approximately 10% of its full-time positions at all levels throughout the organization and in each of the Bank's markets. The eliminations will represent annual cost savings to the Company of approximately $2.3 million, and most of these positions will be eliminated by October 1, 2010, with others to be phased out during the fourth quarter. The Company expects that the costs associated with the initiative will not materially affect its results for either the third quarter or fourth quarter of 2010.
Alexander F. Dillard, Jr., the Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, stated, "We are very aware of the effect that the management changes and position eliminations will have on individuals that have been extremely important to us over the years, and these decisions have been very difficult. It is, however, important for the Company to implement this expense reduction initiative consistent with the best interests of its stockholders. These actions are necessary as a cost savings measure in returning the Company to quarterly profitability, while meeting the banking needs of the communities that we serve."
Mr. Dillard added, "We are greatly appreciative of the leadership that George Longest has provided to the Company and its predecessors for more than 20 years."Mr. Smith stated, "The Company is committed to providing full-service community banking in all of its markets in the most efficient manner. While management changes and position eliminations are not easy steps to take, it is important for us to increase our focus on revenue-generating items as well as controlling our expenses. We are looking forward to getting these necessary moves behind us and having our employees, through their service and dedication to the Bank, lead us back to profitability."