Wells Fargo’s search for a new CEO is beginning to take shape and possible candidates are starting to emerge.
The New York Post is reporting that Wells Fargo and former Goldman Sachs executive Harvey Schwartz are in talks regarding the CEO position. Wells Fargo has denied this report. That same report stated that Schwartz’s Goldman Sachs counterpart, Gary Cohn, turned down the position.
Wells Fargo announced it is considering external candidates only, eliminating current senior executive Mary Mack, Head of Consumer Banking, from consideration, according to Markets Insider.
Among the female executives named as possible candidates by Markets Insider are Marianne Lake, CFO of JPMorgan/Chase; Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking; Barbra Desoer, CEO of Citibank North America; Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup Latin America; and Karren Larrimer, Head of Retail Banking and Chief Customer Officer at PNC Financial Services Group.
Deciding to name a female CEO would not be the first time women held top leadership positions at Wells Fargo. In 2018, five women—Betsy Duke, Maria Morris, Suzanne Vautrinot, Karen Peetz, and Celeste Clark—were named to the 12-seat Wells Fargo Board of Directors. Duke replaced Stephen Sanger as Chair.
While the possible candidates laid out by Markets Insider and the New York Post come for varying backgrounds, Warren Buffet told The Financial Times that the next CEO of Wells Fargo should not come from Wall Street. Buffet controls nearly 10 percent of Wells Fargo shares.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau imposed a $1 billion penalty on Wells Fargo in 2018 over allegations that the bank improperly charged thousands of auto-loan customers for insurance they didn't need, and for unfairly charging some mortgage applicants when loan approvals were delayed. Wells Fargo faces up to 14 consent orders from regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Federal Reserve placed a $2 trillion cap on the bank’s assets until further notice.
Regulations and restrictions stemming from 2016 caused the lender’s stock to slip, and Sloan announced his intent to retire as CEO in March.