Levinson, president of E*Trade, decides to leave online brokerage

Investment companies


E*Trade Group, already watching its stock price swoon, said yesterday that its president and chief operating officer, Kathy Levinson, is leaving the online broker.

E*Trade said Levinson is leaving to "concentrate on her wide range of philanthropic and community service interests." The company said Levinson wasn't available to comment.

It named its marketing guru, Jerry Gramaglia, to succeed Levinson.

The news comes during a week when E*Trade's stock has fallen to a 52-week low, closing yesterday down $1.8125, or 11.5 percent, at $13.9375. That's a decline of 28 percent in three days.

Levinson has been with E*Trade since 1995, when she came on board as a consultant. She previously worked for competitor Charles Schwab. In 1996, she was named president and chief operating officer of E*Trade's brokerage unit, E*Trade Securities, and at the beginning of 1999 took on that role for the entire company, which now also includes E*Trade Bank, an online bank.

Levinson is the third top E*Trade executive to leave during the past year. This year, Debra Chrapaty left her post as chief information officer to join a start-up, and last year Rebecca Patton left her job as products manager to go to a smaller company.

E*Trade went public in late 1996.

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