Zions Bank CEO and community champion Scott Anderson, ‘Utah’s unelected governor,’ to retire

He will continue to serve the bank as a nonexecutive chair as the company shuffles leadership.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Scott Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Zions Bank, poses for a portrait outside the historic Eagle Emporium at 102 S. Main in Salt Lake City in September 2023. The bank's parent company, Zions Bancorp, announced Anderson will retire April 1, 2024.

Scott Anderson, recognized as a “Giant in Our City” and a champion of small business, will retire come April as president and CEO of the Zions Bank, the bank’s parent company has announced amid a slew of other leadership changes.

Over Anderson’s 33-year tenure at the company’s helm, he was “instrumental” in the bank becoming Utah’s leading full-service commercial bank, Zions Bancorp Chair Harris Simmons said in a Friday news release. He has also been a “community leader without equal,” Simmons continued and has often been referred to as “Utah’s unelected governor” from his engagement with the business community.

Anderson also previously served on The Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board and supported The Tribune’s 2019 move to a nonprofit model.

In 2013, Anderson and Simmons shared the “Giant in Our City” award from the business-backed Salt Lake Chamber.

The honor is “for people who have done something truly enduring for the community,’’ economist Natalie Gochnour, current director of the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said at the time. “It’s a recognition of service, and hopefully, it [will] also inspire others both to hear the stories of these great men and potentially replicate them.”

Gochnour said she would leave meetings with Anderson “amazed at the breadth of his contributions. ... He gets outside the narrow interest of business and gets into the much broader interests of the community.”

In the release, Simmons said it is “with more than the usual measure of appreciation that I extend my heartfelt thanks to Scott Anderson for his years of service to Zions Bank,” adding that he is “pleased that he’ll be continuing in a part-time role in helping to serve the needs of our community.”

Anderson will continue to serve the bank as a nonexecutive chair, according to the release from Zions Bancorp. Paul E. Burdiss, Zions Bancorp executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2015, will succeed Anderson as the bank’s CEO and president.

R. Ryan Richards, Zions Bancorp’s corporate controller, will become the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, the company announced. The company’s deputy general counsel, Rena Miller, will replace the company’s current general counsel, Thomas E. Laursen, when the latter retires.

“I’m pleased that each of these executive roles are being filled with highly qualified members of our own team,” Simmons said. “I look forward to working with these trusted colleagues, and know they will bring a great deal of energy, and fresh perspectives and insights in their new roles.”

Zions Bank celebrated its 150-year anniversary in October after enduring a series of hits last year, including a stock plunge in March after the headline-grabbing Silicon Valley Bank failure.

“We’re going to continue to be a part of the community, continue to provide banking services,” Anderson told The Tribune in October. “We’re going to continue to donate and work with the community to make it prosper.”