Bank Hapoalim Ltd. Chief Operating Officer Ari Pinto is the leading candidate to take over as chief executive officer of Israel’s largest bank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Pinto started at Hapoalim in 1980 and took his current job in February. CEO Zion Kenan said last week he will step down in six months to pursue other business challenges.

Ofra Preuss, a spokeswoman for Hapoalim, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

The news was reported earlier by Hebrew business daily TheMarker.

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