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Berkshire Bank Exec Leaves Company Weeks After CEO Exits

Malia Lazu, Berkshire Bank's regional vice for Eastern Massachusetts, talks with a visitor at Reevx Labs coworking space in Roxbury. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Malia Lazu, Berkshire Bank's regional vice for Eastern Massachusetts, talks with a visitor at Reevx Labs coworking space in Roxbury. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Berkshire Bank regional vice president Malia Lazu has left the company, the bank announced Wednesday.

Her departure comes three weeks after the bank's former CEO Richard Marotta abruptly resigned from the company, signaling a potential leadership shakeup.

Lazu was hired under Marotta's leadership, and said her departure was a "mutual and amicable" decision.

Lazu spent much her time at Berkshire focused on communities that have been underserved by banks; corporate social responsibility; and diversity, equity and inclusion. She opened the bank's ReevX Labs coworking space in Roxbury's Nubian Square earlier this year and had plans to open locations in other cities.

In a statement, acting CEO Sean Gray thanked Lazu for her contributions to the bank.

"Malia was instrumental in helping to build the foundation of our Be FIRST culture and in moving forward Reevx Labs into diverse communities to help underserved individuals and small businesses access services and capital," Gray said.

Berkshire Bank said it has engaged with an outside consultant to "enhance the Bank’s organizational structure and accountability" around its diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.

Lazu started as a diversity and inclusion consultant to Berkshire Bank in 2018. She was then hired in 2019 as the bank's chief experience and culture officer before becoming the bank's regional president for eastern Massachusetts.

"I’m grateful for the opportunity I have had to help make diversity and inclusion a fundamental part of Berkshire Bank’s mission and strategy, both internally and in the communities it serves," Lazu said in a statement. "Having seen the tremendous opportunity first-hand, I am eager to scale my work within industry to address the pressing problems — and opportunities — around diversity, equity and inclusion that face our communities and country today."

Berkshire Bank also announced Wednesday that the company's head of human resources, Jacqueline Courtwright is being promoted to chief human resources and culture officer. According to the bank, the role will include overseeing the bank's HR strategy and communications as well as work on corporate social responsibility, and diversity equity and inclusion.

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Zeninjor Enwemeka Twitter Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.

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