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Wells Fargo Names Elizabeth Duke Chair as Sanger to Exit After Scandal

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Wells Fargo & Co. said Elizabeth “Betsy” Duke will take over as chair of its board of directors next year as Stephen Sanger and two other longtime directors retire following a sales scandal under their watch.

Juan Pujadas will join the board next month as an independent director and the bank changed leadership of some of its board committees, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Mary Jo White, the former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, helped the board on its review.

Calls for changes on the board intensified last month after the bank said 500,000 clients might have unwittingly paid for protection against vehicle loss or damage while making monthly loan payments, even though many drivers already had their own insurance policies. The disclosure follows a scandal last year in which the company acknowledged that it may have opened millions of unauthorized deposit and credit-card accounts.

“Betsy was the unanimous choice to lead the board as it continues its focus on strengthening oversight and rebuilding the trust of shareholders, customers, and other stakeholders,” Sanger said in the statement.

Cynthia Milligan and Susan Swenson will retire from the board at the end of this year. The bank will add three additional independent directors before next year’s annual shareholders meeting.

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