PLEASANTON -- The top boss of one of California's largest credit unions, Pleasanton-based Patelco Credit Union, has decided to resign.

Ken Burns, chief executive officer of Patelco, has told the credit union's board of directors that he is quitting, but will help in the transition to a new CEO.

Burns has been CEO of Patelco since 2009, said Carla Spain, a spokeswoman for the credit union.

"He will continue to lead the credit union over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition until a new CEO is secured," Patelco said of Burns' near-future plans at the financial firm.

Patelco is the sixth largest credit union in California and the third largest in the Bay Area, according to the California Credit Union League.

Ken Burns, Patelco Credit Union CEO, seen in a 2009 file photo.
Ken Burns, Patelco Credit Union CEO, seen in a 2009 file photo. (Sharon Sulzner [sms@chapocompany)

At the end of 2012, Patelco had $3.87 billion in total assets and $3.4 billion in deposits. During 2012, the credit union captured $55.5 million in profits, according to a regulatory filing by Patelco.

"Ken Burns joined Patelco with the objective to turn around the credit union during an economically challenging time in the nation," Patelco said in a statement. "During his tenure, the credit union achieved its best performing year, 2012, in the organization's history."

Santa Ana-based SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union is the largest in California, with $9.38 billion in assets.

Sunnyvale-based Star One Credit Union is the largest in the Bay Area, with $6.3 billion in assets. First Tech Federal Credit Union is second largest in the Bay Area, with $5.61 billion in assets.

Compared to 2011, Patelco's assets were up 7.2 percent and deposits were up 5.9 percent. Profits soared 355 percent during 2012, more than four times larger than the $12.2 million in profits for 2011.

"Patelco appreciates Ken's leadership, and we are thankful for his ongoing assistance during this transition," the credit union said.

Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.