Banking

‘Completely false’: Wells Fargo denies report it considered dumping its CEO

Wells Fargo’s chair is denying rumors that the bank’s board considered replacing CEO Tim Sloan, following a news report Wednesday that board members met this year with the former president of Goldman Sachs to discuss that possibility.
Wells Fargo’s chair is denying rumors that the bank’s board considered replacing CEO Tim Sloan, following a news report Wednesday that board members met this year with the former president of Goldman Sachs to discuss that possibility. AP

Wells Fargo’s chairwoman is denying a report that the bank’s board considered replacing CEO Tim Sloan, following a news story Wednesday that board members met this year with the former president of Goldman Sachs to discuss that possibility.

The New York Post reported that Gary Cohn and board members met at least once around March or April but that Cohn rejected the overtures. The Post cited unnamed sources.

In a statement to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Wells Chairwoman Betsy Duke called any rumors that the board reached out to potential CEO candidates “completely false.”

“CEO Tim Sloan has the unanimous support of the board, and this support has never wavered. In his two years as CEO, Tim has driven significant transformational change at Wells Fargo, which is benefiting all stakeholders.”

Cohn left Goldman Sachs to join President Donald Trump’s administration, which in December 2016 announced that he had been tapped as Trump’s top economic adviser. In March, Cohn announced he was resigning from his post.

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Sloan, a longtime Wells Fargo veteran, was elevated to CEO following the retirement of John Stumpf amid fallout from a massive scandal in September 2016 involving the opening of fake accounts at the bank. Authorities fined the bank $185 million to resolve claims its employees opened millions of accounts without customer authorization to meet high-pressure sales goals.

Wells Fargo has pushed to rebuild its reputation. But ongoing revelations of additional practices that have harmed customers have led some, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, to continue calling for Sloan’s ouster.

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Duke’s comments echo those she made in April at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting, where she praised Sloan for his work as CEO.

Wells Fargo is headquartered in San Francisco but maintains its largest employee hub in Charlotte, where it has about 25,100 workers in the metro area.

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