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Michael P. Pinto, vice chairman of M&T Bank Corp., has resigned from the board of directors due to a “serious medical condition,” the Buffalo-based bank said Tuesday.

Pinto, 57, will continue as vice chairman of M&T Bank, the primary banking subsidiary, “on a part-time basis in an advisory role,” the bank said.

“Mike needs to devote time and energy to his treatment, and we support him and his family completely,” said Robert G. Wilmers, M&T’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. Details of Pinto’s condition were not disclosed.

Pinto has risen to top leadership positions at M&T since joining the organization in 1985. He was named vice chairman of M&T’s board in 2007, and analysts have viewed him as a possible successor to Wilmers. Wilmers praised Pinto as a “leader in our disciplined approach to mergers and acquisitions, our efficient operating model and our focus on creating and preserving shareholder value.”

Pinto was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1996. In 2003, he was appointed vice chairman of M&T Bank and was elected to the boards of M&T and its banking subsidiary. Another significant appointment came in 2005, when he was named chairman and chief executive officer of the mid-Atlantic division of M&T’s banking subsidiary; M&T has not yet named anyone to replace Pinto in that position, said Michael Zabel, an M&T spokesman.

Wilmers said of Pinto’s influence: “Not coincidentally, his tenure has been concurrent with a period of tremendous growth for the bank.”

Pinto’s resignation set in motion some other changes in duties among M&T’s leadership.

President Mark J. Czarnecki, 58, has added the duties of chief operating officer. The bank said Czarnecki has assumed added responsibilities for the day-to-day management of the company, including coordination of the bank’s credit, audit and risk divisions.

Additionally, CFO Rene F. Jones and Executive Vice President Kevin J. Pearson have been named vice chairmen of the M&T Bank subsidiary, and they will now report to Wilmers.

Jones, 49, has added responsibility for Wilmington Trust, the bank’s wealth and institutional trust management subsidiary, and for M&T Bank’s treasury division. Jones succeeded Pinto as CFO in 2005. Pearson, 52, has led the bank’s New York metropolitan markets since 2002 and will now oversee the bank’s entire commercial banking line of business, M&T said.

Wilmers called the changes in duties “necessary to position our company for future growth and success, and to preserve our deep commitment to our customers, employees and shareholders, and to our community banking values.”

He also said of Pinto: “A company’s culture is bigger than any one person, but Mike stands as tall as any.”

email: mglynn@buffnews.com