James Rohr may be a Cleveland native but, during his tenure as PNC Financial Services Group chairman and CEO, he has been a real friend to Pittsburgh.
PNC announced last week that Mr. Rohr, 64, will step aside in April after nearly 13 years in charge of the region's biggest bank. The move was not unexpected, and the transition should be smooth with Mr. Rohr promising to serve as executive chairman for one year as President William S. Demchak moves into his new role at the top.
One of the longest-serving and most influential CEOs in the region, Mr. Rohr will leave behind a regional bank that more than doubled in size during his tenure, in large part due to its takeover of the failing Cleveland-based National City Bank.
His leadership is just as evident in the landscape of Downtown.
PNC's 23-story Three PNC Plaza on Fifth opened in 2009, a vital piece in the redevelopment of the once-decimated Fifth Avenue corridor. A second office building, the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza, is to open in 2015, and the bank also is converting the former Lord & Taylor store at Fifth and Smithfield Street into office space.
Through the bank's Grow Up Great initiative, millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours on the part of PNC employees have been donated to early childhood education, arts and science programming.
Mr. Rohr has been an active and involved citizen, serving a three-year term as chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and a six-year stint as board chairman of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, where he was instrumental in a capital campaign that resulted in building the O'Reilly Theater.
His contributions stand as an example of good corporate citizenship.