Barry Mason is the new president and chief executive officer of First National Bancshares, the Spartanburg, SC-based holding company that’s struggling to keep its head above water, the company announced Tuesday.
Before the move could be made, First National’s board had to receive approval from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond because of an agreement entered into with the regulator in June following massive losses over the past year.
Late last month Mason was named president and CEO of subsidiary First National Bank of the South. That appointment had to be approved by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the result of a consent order entered into with the OCC in April.
First National Bancshares lost $20 million during the second quarter. Last year, the company lost $44.8 million and another $1.36 million during the first three months of 2009.
Mason, who replaced founder Jerry Calvert, received an enticing compensation package to come to First National from Arthur State Bank. He signed a three-year employment agreement with First National that pays him an initial annual salary of $275,000 a year.
The agreement also includes a signing bonus of $550,000 and Mason is eligible to receive a lump sum bonus of $200,000 upon successful completion of First National’s capital restoration plan, according to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
In lieu of an additional cash bonus, Mason will be issued 250,000 shares of First National common stock, subject to vesting restrictions. He will also be eligible to receive an annual cash bonus of up to 50 percent of his base salary based performance goals.
Mason, the filing adds, will also receive an option to purchase 1 million shares of the company’s common stock.
Stock in First National rose 5 cents Tuesday, to $1.80 a share.