The board of directors of Zions Bancorporation has elected Harris H. Simmons, president, as chief executive officer, succeeding Roy W. Simmons, who founded the bank holding company in 1955 and will continue as chairman of the board.

Harris also is president and chief executive officer of the company's major subsidiary, Zions First National Bank."Although it a challenging time for the nation's economy and for the financial services industry, Zions Bancorporation is in very strong condition as it enters the 1990s," said Harris. "The company has strong earnings and capital and very solid reserves," he said.

He said the future for the bank's market area is bright and the bank will continue to play a leadership role in helping build that future.

Harris has been president of Zions Bancorporation since 1986 and prior to that was the chief financial office since 1981. He began his banking career at Zions in 1970 and also worked at Andressens Bank in Oslo, Norway, and Allied Bancshares in Houston, Texas.

He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Utah and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University.

Zions Bancorporation has 93 full-service branches in Utah, Nevada and Arizona and has several subsidiaries.