Wells Fargo CEO Steps Down

It was probably just a matter of time. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf announced his retirement in the wake of a bank scandal that brought the CEO in front of the federal government  and brought the company millions of dollars in fines. Stumpf will walk away with about $134 million as his retirement package (although no additional severance pay). According to The Wall Street Journal, the board didn't try to convince Stumpf to continue on.

Wells Fargo retirement

In a news release, the company included quotations from Stumpf and from the new executives. Stumpf quote read, "I am grateful for the opportunity to have led Wells Fargo. I am also very optimistic about its future, because of our talented and caring team members and the goodwill the stagecoach continues to enjoy with tens of millions of customers. While I have been deeply committed and focused on managing the Company through this period, I have decided it is best for the Company that I step aside. I know no better individual to lead this company forward than Tim Sloan."

A Slate writer called the news "a stunning fall for a banking leader who had helped guide Wells Fargo through the financial crisis and lead the company through its acquisition of Charlotte-based Wachovia." A New York Times writer called Stumpf's resignation "abrupt." 

Discussion Starters: 

  • Do you agree with the reporters' language? Is this a "stunning fall" and an "abrupt departure"?
  • Is Stumpf's retirement the right decision for the company at this time? Why or why not? What did the board of directors likely consider in encouraging-or at least accepting-his retirement?