New York (CNN Business)Wells Fargo has hired an outsider to clean up its broken culture, three years after a reputation-tarnishing series of scandals erupted.
The bank announced Friday it has tapped Bank of New York Mellon (BK) CEO Charles Scharf as its new boss. Scharf, previously the CEO of Visa (V), is set to take the reins of Wells Fargo on October 21. The hiring ends Wells Fargo’s (WFC) six-month struggle to find a suitable replacement for Tim Sloan, who stepped down abruptly in late March after failing to move the bank beyond its scandals.”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,” Wells Fargo Chair Betsy Duke said in a statement.San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said that Scharf’s primary residence will be in New York, where he has family. A Wells Fargo spokesperson told CNN Business that Scharf will be expected to travel extensively, not only to the bank’s San Francisco headquarters but to other offices around the country. Read More”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,” Scharf said in a statement.Wells Fargo is under so much pressure from Washington that even the hiring of the new CEO was subject to review from regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.Warren Buffett, Wells Fargo’s leading shareholder, also gave the bank hiring advice. The legendary investor urged Wells Fargo not to hire a typical Wall Street executive because it would “draw the ire” of lawmakers in Washington.Scharf’s last two employers, Bank of New York and Visa, are among the holdings in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the hiring.Wells Fargo recruited Scharf away from Bank of New York Mellon, where he had been CEO since July 2017 and chairman since early 2018. Bank of New York named Todd Gibbons, a 30-year veteran of the firm, the company’s interim CEO. Prior to Bank of New York Mellon, Scharf served as the CEO of San Francisco-based Visa, where he is credited with transforming the company’s technology and payments platforms. He served as Visa’s CEO for four years until December 2016, when he resigned due to concerns about spending time away from his family in New York.Scharf also had stints on Wall Street. He served as managing director at JPMorgan Chase’s private investment arm and as a senior executive at Citigroup and Salomon Smith Barney.Wells Fargo said that after Scharf takes over, Allen Parker, currently the interim CEO, will stay with the bank in a leadership role and as general counsel.