Charlotte leaders appeal to Stumpf to keep jobs
10/16/2008 12:00 AM
10/15/2008 9:28 PM
With roughly 20,000 Wachovia jobs in the Charlotte region at stake, local leaders Wednesday directly appealed to the head of Wells Fargo to keep those positions in place as the merger of the two banks moves forward.
Before and after addressing Wachovia employees in the bank's Atrium, Wells chief executive John Stumpf chatted with elected officials and business leaders – most of whom made their top priority clear.
“We have a very savvy work force,” Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess said she told Stumpf, “and I hope you can be working with every single one of them.”
Stumpf's answer, she said: “We will continue to invest in cities where we make money.”
The Wells CEO also told Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman of “his support of public schools and desire to be a strong corporate partner,” Gorman said via e-mail.
State Sen. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg, said Stumpf was “very outgoing and approachable,” and that the Wells-Wachovia deal represents “a new era of civic engagement.”
But in their brief conversation, Graham said Stumpf was noncommittal about keeping all Wachovia jobs in the region. He noticed that Stumpf told employees more than once that there were “no promises.”
“That's the kind of thing you underline and highlight,” Graham said, adding, “Hopefully, his visits to Charlotte will be frequent.”
If so, Stumpf won't lack for lodging, said Tim Newman, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
“If you need a hotel room,” Newman said he told Stumpf, “I can guarantee that.”
A former vice president with Wachovia Securities, Newman said he was familiar with bank mergers and efforts to retain and retrain employees – something to which Wells is committed, Stumpf said.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
Charlotte Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.