Kathleen Taylor to become chair TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) announced today that David O'Brien plans to retire as Chair of the Board, effective December 31, 2013. Kathleen Taylor, who has been an independent director since 2001, will become Chair. Mr. O'Brien has served with distinction as non-executive Chair since 2004 and as an independent director since 1996. He will stay on as a director until the annual meeting of shareholders in Toronto on February 26, 2014, as part of an orderly board succession. "It's been an honour to serve our shareholders with the support of an engaged board, outstanding management team and talented group of employees globally," said Mr. O'Brien. "Under Katie's leadership, I am confident that the board will continue its focus on creating long-term value for our shareholders and our clients." Ms. Taylor of Toronto, Ontario has served on the Audit, Risk and Human Resources Committees during her tenure on the RBC board, and has been Chair of the Human Resources Committee since 2010. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts where she served in a variety of progressively senior leadership roles during her over 20-year career. Ms. Taylor has a Master of Business Administration degree from Schulich School of Business, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Toronto. "David's exemplary leadership guided the board in its stewardship of RBC through a period of significant financial services industry reform and global growth for the bank," said Ms. Taylor. "I appreciate the confidence of the board and look forward to building on the bank's achievements together."