Bank Watch

Wells Fargo CEO to employees: I never imagined leaving ‘under these circumstances’

John Stumpf, chief executive officer of Wells Fargo, exits after a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29, 2016.
John Stumpf, chief executive officer of Wells Fargo, exits after a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29, 2016. Andrew Harrer Bloomberg

Following his resignation Wednesday, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf told the company’s 268,000 employees he “never would have imagined leaving the company I care so deeply about under these circumstances,” according to a memo obtained by the Observer.

On Wednesday, San Francisco-based Wells said Stumpf, 63, informed the company’s board of directors that he is retiring from the bank and its board immediately. President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan will replace him as CEO and take a seat on the board. The move comes as the San Francisco-based bank, whose largest employment hub is in Charlotte, tries to recover from a scandal over its sales practices.

In his memo, Stumpf thanked employees, saying: “Working alongside you has been a true privilege.”

“I never would have imagined leaving the company I care so deeply about under these circumstances, but it became increasingly clear to me in recent weeks that new leadership would be best positioned to guide Wells Fargo through this challenging period and to take the company into the future. So I have made this decision to help set the path forward.”

Stumpf also praised Sloan, calling him “the right person to lead Wells Fargo forward at this critical time.” He also noted Sloan is “battle-tested,” having served as chief financial officer “during the post-financial-crisis period’s toughest moments.”

“Tim has the character, institutional knowledge, and vision to restore the public’s trust in this great company we have all worked together to build.”

A Wells spokesman declined to comment.

 

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