U.S. Bancorp announced several high-level management changes Tuesday as two of its top executives retire.

Richard Hartnack, 67, the bank's vice chairman of consumer and small business banking, will be succeeded by two U.S. Bancorp executives: John Elmore and Kent Stone.

The Minneapolis-based lender also said Lee Mitau, 64, executive vice president and general counsel since 1995, is retiring. Mitau will be succeeded by James Chosy, who is joining U.S. Bancorp from Piper Jaffray Cos. where he has been general counsel and secretary since 2001. Before that, Chosy was U.S. Bancorp's associate general counsel.

All three appointments become effective March 1, when Hartnack and Mitau retire, the bank said.

Elmore will be vice chairman of community banking and branch delivery, overseeing the bank's 3,086 branches, including in-store and on-site banking.

Stone will become vice chairman of consumer banking sales and support, leading the bank's overall consumer and small business strategy, as well as overseeing residential mortgage lending and consumer lending.

"We've grown in size to the point it makes sense to split those roles," bank spokesman Thomas Joyce said.

Elmore, Stone and Chosy will join U.S. Bancorp's managing committee, which has expanded from 14 to 15 members, and report to CEO Richard Davis.

U.S. Bank, the country's No. 5 commercial bank, has enjoyed strong growth since the recession and financial crisis and is regarded as one of the most well-run banks in the country.

Still, challenges remain. Moody's Investors Services last week downgraded the bank's senior-debt rating by one notch to A1 from Aa3, citing its increased dependence on potentially volatile mortgage income and challenging conditions for the banking industry in general, including low interest rates and increased regulation. It called its outlook on U.S. Bancorp "stable." U.S. Bancorp remains Moody's top-rated large bank.

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683