March 29 (UPI) — Wells Fargo CEO and President Tim Sloan is retiring Thursday amid years of scrutiny over the way the company treats customers, the bank announced.
Sloan is expected to step down immediately after more than three decades with the company and C. Allen Parker will take over as interim CEO and president.
Wells Fargo board Chairwoman Betsy Duke said Sloan has worked “tirelessly” since his appointment as CEO in 2016 for the long-term interest of the company.
“His decision, and today’s announcement, reflect that commitment and his belief that a new CEO at this time will best position the Company for success,” she said.
Sloan became CEO and president of Wells Fargo after former head John Stumpf resigned amid a consumer-related scandal in which the bank opened up accounts without customers’ permission in order to reach quotas.
Bank employees created thousands of phony accounts and manipulated actual customer accounts in an effort to boost sales figures and earn financial bonuses. The bank responded by firing more than 5,000 employees involved in the scheme and pledged to end sales goals for employees.
Senators grilled Sloan in October 2017 over the scandal and another in which it was revealed Wells Fargo was charging people for unnecessary auto insurance.
“I am deeply sorry for letting down our customers and team members,” Sloan told a Senate committee. “I apologize for the damage done to all the people who work and bank at this important American institution.”
Wells Fargo has been fined more than $1 billion in recent years for scandals involving its phony accounts, insurance and mortgage services.
“We have made progress in many areas and, while there remains more work to be done, I am confident in our leadership team and optimistic about the future of Wells Fargo,” Sloan said Thursday.
“However, it has become apparent to me that our ability to successfully move Wells Fargo forward from here will benefit from a new CEO and fresh perspectives. For this reason, I have decided it is best for the Company that I step aside and devote my efforts to supporting an effective transition.”