Wells Fargo & Co. Chairman and CEO John Stumpf has informed the company’s board of directors that he will be stepping down from both positions effective immediately, the San Francisco-based bank said Wednesday. The bank’s board elected President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan to replace Stumpf, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Stumpf’s retirement comes after the bank spent the last month trying to recover from the fallout of a scandal involving its employees’ opening of nearly 2 million fraudulent accounts in the names of unwitting existing customers. On Sept. 8 the bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines to settle the matter.
“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,” Stumpf said in a statement. “I know no better individual to lead this company forward than Tim Sloan.”
During two Senate and House committee meetings last month, multiple members of Congress called on Stumpf to resign, with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren telling him that he should be prosecuted. Warren also told Stumpf that he had shown “gutless” leadership by blaming the bank’s problems on lower-level employees.
Stumpf has been with Wells Fargo since joining its Minnesota-based predecessor Norwest in 1982. He became CEO in 2007, and the title of chairman was added in 2010. In 2015 he received $19.3 million in salary, bonus and stock awards.
On Sept. 27 he agreed to forfeit $41 million in unvested equity awards—roughly 25 percent of the $160 million in stock, deferred compensation and retirement benefits that he would have received upon retirement.
Read more at the Charlotte Observer.