Wells Fargo said late Thursday that it will tap a new leader from outside the bank to take over from retiring President and CEO Tim Sloan. It outlined this and related steps being taken to move the organization beyond the fake-accounts scandal of the past few years on a call with equity analysts.
The news comes two and a half years after Sloan took the reins from the embattled John Stumpf, who led the bank while it opened several million fake accounts. “There’s been too much focus on me … and I felt I was becoming a distraction,” said Sloan.
Sloan is being replaced on an interim basis by Allen Parker, who has been general counsel for the past two years.
Also on the call, Betsy Duke, now chair of the bank and a former Federal Reserve governor, said “we have a lot more work to do” regarding the bank’s challenges. (It’s now operating under a Fed Reserve asset cap.) She added that a search committee for the CEO slot has been formed and is meeting for the first time Friday.
Other top executives on the call included Parker and Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry.
Over the past few weeks, the New York Post reported that former Goldman Sachs executives Harvey Schwartz and Gary Cohn have been approached to replace Sloan, which the bank has denied.
Wells Fargo leaders said Thursday that the bank is set to maintain two roles for the chairman and CEO. It also has tapped a new auditor, Julie Scammahorn, the ex-chief auditor of Citibank, and hired Saul Van Beurden, formerly chief information officer of consumer and community banking for Chase, to be its first head of technology.
Reactions to Sloan’s Departure
Politicians who had been calling for Sloan’s firing for some time were pleased with Thursday’s developments.