Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan quits, just as Elizabeth Warren demanded

He’ll see himself out.
He’ll see himself out.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Tim Sloan has left the building, and markets are relieved.

So too is senator Elizabeth Warren. The Democratic candidate first called for the Wells Fargo CEO to be sacked in January, when she wrote a monster Twitter thread accusing the banker of profiting from fake accounts and other misdeeds, concluding: “His hands are too dirty from overseeing years of scams and scandals.”

In a press release, the bank today (March 28) announced that Sloan, who took the top job in Oct. 2016, would be retiring. Allen Parker, the bank’s general counsel, is to step in as its interim CEO and president until a permanent replacement can be found.

Whatever Warren’s view, Sloan’s work appeared to be passing muster within the bank: In 2018, he enjoyed a 5% raise, to $18.4 million, while a Nov. 2018 statement from the bank’s board stressed their full confidence in and support of him as leader. As recently as earlier this month, Sloan told reporters that the bank, its board, and its quarter-of-a-million employees believed he was doing “a great job.”

But an upswing in the bank’s stock after the announcement suggests shareholders had much greater reservations with his performance than bank insiders. The scandals Sloan was originally tasked with tackling instead laid the groundwork for those that followed: racism, price-gouging, grotesque “calculation errors.” His successor is certain to have even more on their plate.