Columbia Bank has announced that Hadley S. Robbins, the company’s executive vice president and COO, has been appointed interim CEO following the unexpected passing of Melanie Dressel.

“Hadley has more than 35 years of experience in community banking and has been responsible for Columbia's operations and customer-facing business lines since 2014,” said William Weyerhaeuser, chairman of Columbia’s board. “We are fortunate to be able to call upon him, as he has worked closely with the entire executive leadership team at Columbia for several years.”

Robbins was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Columbia in March 2014, with responsibility for Columbia's customer-facing business lines, including Commercial Banking, Retail Banking and Wealth Management. His experience includes executive or senior management positions with West Coast Bancorp, Wells Fargo Bank, Pacific Northwest Bank, Bank of the Northwest and First Interstate Bank. He holds an MBA from the University of Oregon and a BS in Business Administration from Lewis and Clark College.

As part of the implementation of the succession planning process, the board intends to conduct a search for a permanent CEO, in which both internal and external candidates will be considered.