Will Sampson’s Promotion To Executive Vice President And Chief Information Officer Announced By ECB Bancorp, Inc.

Today A. Dwight Utz, President/CEO of ECB Bancorp (ECB) and the East Carolina Bank announced the promotion of Will Sampson to Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer. Mr. Sampson joined ECB in January 2010 and has served most recently as SVP, Chief Information Officer. In January 2011 he was appointed as an executive officer for both the corporation and the bank.

Mr. Sampson has the responsibility for oversight of deposit operations; vendor provided resources; internal hardware and software systems; daily data processing; electronic banking; internet banking; communications systems; system administration; quality control; related special projects, facilities management and the ECB card center. Will is a member of ECB’s Strategic Thinking Group (STG) and serves as chair of the Bank’s Information Technology Steering Committee.

“In the last 24 months we have successfully completed a fork lift upgrade to our banking platform with no system untouched,” said Mr. Sampson. “Our team of talented and dedicated associates understands technology is a tool that cannot replace the personal, one-to-one aspect of banking so fundamental to customer engagement. Our role is to make banking easier for our customers and processes simpler for our associates. We are excited about our enhanced capability of offering new products and services – mobile banking, remote deposit via mobile phone, and real time banking to name a few. Customer Experience is what it is about at the end of the day.”

Mr. Utz stated, “Since Mr. Sampson joined our organization he has provided key leadership in the execution of our Information Technology roadmap which better positions our Company for future growth. This past year he served as a co-executive sponsor related to our conversion project and the upgrade of our core processing system project which included implementation of a new teller platform, an advanced reporting interface, a customer relationship management module and a centralized loan processing/documentation suite. Today it is important for our Company to remain ahead of the curve in the area of electronic delivery and to ensure that we have the technology infrastructure built that will provide our customers with the innovation and expertise they expect from their financial services provider.”

Prior to joining ECB, Mr. Sampson was employed by Gateway and Hampton Roads Bankshares serving as lead manager for IT and Operations functions. He holds an Associate Degree from ECPI College of Technology, a Bachelor’s and MBA from Western Governor’s University, and is a graduate of NCBA School of Banking. He is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and serves as Commandant with the Marine Corp League Albemarle Detachment 1258.

Mr. Sampson and his wife Rachael live in Manteo with their two daughters.

About ECB Bancorp, Inc.

ECB Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company, headquartered in Engelhard, North Carolina, whose wholly-owned subsidiary, The East Carolina Bank, is a state-chartered, independent community bank insured by the FDIC. The Bank provides a full range of financial services through its 25 offices covering eastern North Carolina from Currituck to Ocean Isle Beach and Greenville to Hatteras. The Bank also provides mortgages, insurance services through the Bank’s licensed agents, and investment and brokerage services offered through a third-party broker-dealer. The Company’s common stock is listed NYSE Amex under the symbol “ECBE”. More information can be obtained by visiting ECB's web site at www.myecb.com.

“Safe Harbor Statement” Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

Statements in this Press Release relating to plans, strategies, economic performance and trends, projections of results of specific activities or investments, expectations or beliefs about future events or results, and other statements that are not descriptions of historical facts, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking information is inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which include, but are not limited to, risk factors discussed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Forward-looking statements may be identified by terms such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “anticipates”, “feels”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “forecasts”, “potential” or “continue”, or similar terms or the negative of these terms, or other statements concerning opinions or judgments of the Company’s management about future events. Factors that could influence the accuracy of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the regulatory and shareholder approvals required for the private placement may not be obtained or may not be obtained on the terms expected or on the schedule that we anticipate; and other closing conditions for the private placement may not be satisfied. In addition, factors that could have a material impact on the results of operations of the Company include, but are not limited to, pressures on the Company’s earnings, capital and liquidity resulting from current and future conditions in the credit and equity markets; the financial success or changing strategies of the Company’s customers; actions of government regulators or changes in laws, regulations or accounting standards that adversely affect our business; changes in the interest rate environment and the level of market interest rates that reduce our net interest margins and/or the values of loans we make and securities we hold; weather and similar conditions, particularly the effect of hurricanes on the Company’s banking and operations facilities and on the Company’s customers and the communities in which it does business; continued or unexpected increases in credit losses in the Company’s loan portfolio; continued adverse conditions in general economic conditions and real estate values in our banking market (particularly as those conditions affect our loan portfolio, the abilities of our borrowers to repay their loans, and the values of loan collateral); and other developments or changes in our business that we do not expect. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph. The Company has no obligation, and does not intend, to update these forward-looking statements.

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