Kansas City, Mo. (Sep 16, 2002) -- H&R Block president and chief executive Mark A. Ernst has been elected chairman of the tax prep company's board, Block announced.Ernst succeeds Frank L. Salizzoni who retired at the close of the company's annual meeting of shareholders last week. Ernst has served as the firm's president and CEO since Jan. 1, 2001. Prior to joining H&R Block as executive vice president and chief operating officer in September 1998, Ernst spent 12 years with American Express. He was elected to H&R Block's board of directors and named president and chief operating officer in September 1999.

"Mark's vision for the company's future, his successful leadership, and his ability to deliver results made him the best choice as chairman," said Roger W. Hale, board member and chairman of the governance and nominating committee.

Salizzoni is credited with developing Block's strategy to expand into mortgage and accounting services. He became chairman in September 2000, succeeding co-founder Henry W. Bloch. Prior to that, he served as Block's president and chief executive officer and had served on H&R Block's board of directors since 1988.

The board also appointed Louis W. Smith as chairman and presiding director of its executive committee.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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