The committee to replace Bank Hapoalim CEO Amiram Sivan this week interviewed management members Eli Yones, Zvi Ziv, Jacob Elinav, Shai Talmon and Zeev Ben-Asher, TheMarker has learned.
Eli Yones is considered the single candidate of the five with good chances of receiving the appointment. The others have very slim chances.
The appointment committee included the bank's chairman Shlomo Nehama, vice chairman Danny Dankner, Arison Holdings controlling shareholder Shari Arison, and current CEO Amiram Sivan. Scott Shay, the representative of the American investors will be in Israel only next week for final discussions.
The interviewees were asked what measures they plan to take in the bank, and what they plan to do in the event they are not appointed. In spite of the serious discussion which took place, the process carried little weight, as Yones is the only serious internal candidate.
The bank estimates the committee will determine the new chairman in two weeks time. Sivan is already planning his retirement, and is considering teaming up with old friend and partner Aharon Dovrat.
Sources in the bank say that even though Yones is the frontrunner to replace Sivan, the bank has not yet decided on his appointment. Estimates are Galia Maor, CEO of Bank Leumi, is still a candidate though her appointment "is very complicated", according to a top source on the board of directors.
If Yones is appointed CEO, many executives may leave the bank, in addition to Joseph Dauber and Moshe Amit who are already leaving. Others who might leave the bank's ranks are Abraham Harel, personnel manager, the bank's legal advisor Channa Rosenberg, head strategist Amnon Herzig and Dafna Pelli, cnsidered a close associate of both Sivan and Jacob Elinav, one of Yones rivals and strongly opposed to his appointment.
Nonetheless, sources at the bank believe that if Yones is appointed Elinav may turn a new leaf and cooperate with him.