Charles Schwab Corp. announced Feb. 21 that Walt Bettinger, a longtime Schwab executive, has been named president and COO of the company, effective immediately, raising speculation that he will succeed founder, chairman, and current CEO Charles Schwab as CEO. Bettinger, 46, has been since 2005 executive VP and head of Schwab Investor Services, which provides services to individual investors and to corporate clients. In his new position, Bettinger will report directly to the chairman and CEO of the company, Charles Schwab, and will continue to oversee SIS, along with the Schwab Institutional and Schwab Corporate & Retirement Services divisions, and Schwab's mutual funds, banking, technology, and operations. Bettinger joined Schwab following its 1995 acquisition of the retirement services firm he founded, The Hampton Company. Since then, he has served in leadership positions at Charles Schwab Trust Co., Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Schwab Corporate Services, and Individual Investor Enterprise.
Deborah McWhinney, president of Schwab Institutional, will now report to Bettinger, rather than directly to Charles Schwab himself.
Schwab re-assumed the CEO role in July 2004 after dismissing then CEO David Pottruck; Schwab turns 70 this year. He reminded shareholders last year that he was committed to staying as CEO until January 2007, though he said then, "It seems likely that I'll stay longer than that."
Another leading executive at Schwab, CFO Chris Dodds, announced his retirement in late January; he will leave following Schwab's annual shareholders' meeting on May 18, and will be replaced by Joseph R. Martinetto, senior VP & treasurer.