PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) will promote William Demchak to be its next chief executive, awarding him a long-expected inheritance from CEO James Rohr.

Demchak, currently president of the $305-billion asset bank, will succeed Rohr on April 23, at PNC's annual shareholder meeting, the Pittsburgh company said on Thursday. The board has also named him a director.

Rohr, 64, is currently chairman, too. He will assume the new role of executive chairman in April for a one-year term, and will retire from both the company and the board in 2014, PNC said.

Demchak, 50, has long been considered the front-runner to eventually succeed Rohr as head of the country's seventh-largest bank by deposits. He joined PNC as chief financial officer in 2002, and steadily amassed responsibilities; his roles over the past decade have included head of corporate and institutional banking, senior vice chairman and head of all PNC businesses.

"Bill has demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining PNC," Rohr said in a press release. "His candor and work ethic have earned him the trust of employees and investors, and the confidence of PNC's board."

A spokesman said Demchak was not immediately available for an interview.

The promotion gives PNC a new leader with experience at some of the country's largest and most prominent financial companies. Demchak is a director of BlackRock, and before joining PNC he was the head of the structured product and credit portfolio at JPMorgan Chase (JPM). A few years ago, he was courted by Bank of America (BAC) as a possible successor to then-CEO Ken Lewis.

He will inherit a company that is trying to keep its expenses contained until it can find new ways to boost its revenue. PNC reported annualized loan growth of 8% in the fourth quarter, but said it has run out of ways to trim the interest it pays out.

"Until the interest rates rise or we get a 4% or 5% economic growth, neither of which we are projecting, I think we just have to keep working on expenses and growing customers so that we have a good run rate going into 2014," Rohr said in January.

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