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What Wells Fargo’s New CEO Means for the Industry

The Board of Directors of Wells Fargo & Company recently announced that it has named Charles W. Scharf as the company’s CEO and President, and a member of the Board of Directors, as of October 21. Scharf was chairman and CEO of Bank of New York Mellon.

“I am delighted to welcome Charlie as our new CEO. Charlie is a proven leader and an experienced CEO who has excelled at strategic leadership and execution and is well-positioned to lead Wells Fargo’s continued transformation," said Wells Fargo Board Chair Betsy Duke. "With more than 24 years in leadership roles in the banking and payments industries, including as CEO of Visa Inc. and Bank of New York Mellon, Charlie has demonstrated a strong track record in initiating and leading change, driving results, strengthening operational risk and compliance, and innovating amid a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Charlie’s financial and business acumen, integrity, passion for diversity and inclusion, and commitment to strong talent management are important qualities considered by our board’s search committee.”

In March, the board appointed C. Allen Parker interim CEO and President and a member of the board. Parker will continue to serve in these roles until Scharf joins the company.

Scharf said, “I am honored and energized by the opportunity to assume leadership of this great institution, which is important to our financial system and in the midst of fundamental change. I have deep respect for all the work that has taken place to transform Wells Fargo, and I look forward to working closely with the board, members of the management team, and team members. I am committed to fully engaging with all of our stakeholders including regulators, customers, elected officials, investors, and communities.

“I also want to note the wonderful job Allen has done as general counsel and interim CEO in providing strong leadership. Given his experiences and accomplishments, I know we will work closely together as we move forward,” added Scharf.

Parker said, “Over the last six months, I have gained an even greater understanding as to what an extraordinary company Wells Fargo is. I have been incredibly impressed by our team members and their commitment to serve our customers, move the company forward, and build an even stronger foundation for the future. I am proud of the progress we have made together, and I look forward to working with Charlie to ensure a seamless transition and continuation of our progress.”

Prior to his role at BNY Mellon, Charlie was CEO of Visa, Inc. Before joining Visa, Scharf was managing director of One Equity Partners, the private investment arm of JP Morgan Chase & Co. He also served as CEO of Retail Financial Services at JP Morgan Chase and Chief Executive Officer of the retail division of Bank One Corp. Scharf has been CFO of Bank One Corp., CFO of the Global Corporate and Investment Bank division at Citigroup, and CFO of Salomon Smith Barney.

Scharfy is an outside hire, and earlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett stated that Wells Fargo should look outward in their search. Wells Fargo made a point

“They just have to come from someplace (outside Wells) and they shouldn’t come from Wall Street. They probably shouldn’t come from JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs,” Buffett told the Financial Times.

In a hearing earlier this year, former CEO Tim Sloan stated that the bank has worked toward a change in leadership, culture, and practices. He pointed out that Wells Fargo has created the required ethics training for all team members titled “Change for the Better.” He also added that he “cannot promise perfection” but suggested that the changes implemented will act as a deterrent to further issues. "We’ve made fundamental changes," Sloan said. "I can give personal assurance the bank will comply with consent decrees.”

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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