By Dan Freed
(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> has made more executive changes in its retail banking unit as it tries to recover from a sales scandal that harmed its once-enviable reputation.
Mary Mack, head of the retail business, announced new roles for four executives who will report directly to her, according to a memo sent last week that was viewed by Reuters on Tuesday.
The San Francisco-based bank also cut the number of sub-regions in its Western U.S. operation to five from eight, a move that left two executives looking for new jobs, according to the memo, whose contents were confirmed by spokeswoman Mary Eshet.
“These leadership changes are responsive to our priorities of rebuilding trust with team members and customers… so that we can learn from the past,” Mack said in the May 24 memo, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The latest changes come nearly a year after Mack took over her position from Carrie Tolstedt, a central figure in the scandal. Under her watch, thousands of retail bank employees created as many as 2.1 million phony accounts in customers’ names to hit aggressive sales targets.
Many of the problems occurred in Western states and came to light after Wells Fargo reached a $190 million settlement with a Los Angeles prosecutor and federal regulators last September.
Earlier this year, Wells demoted and dismissed other retail banking executives over their roles in the scandal. (http://reut.rs/2l4FU6U)
Mack’s direct reports with new roles include Bob Chlebowski, who was named branch distribution executive; Laurey Cosentino, who will lead the customer and branch experience team; Celeste Finley, who will lead the regional services group; and Jonathan Velline, who was named head of business strategy and administration.
Those with new responsibilities in the Western division include Don Pearson, who was named head of the Desert Mountain region; David Galasso, the new head of Greater California; Dave Kvamme, the new head of Midwest East; John Sotoodeh, the new head of Midwest West; and Jim Foley, named head of Northwest. Those executives now report to Western Regional Banking Executive Lisa Stevens.
Ben Alvarado, who previously headed Southern California, and Frank Newman, former head of the Rocky Mountain area, will be seeking new opportunities, according to the memo. Eshet said that they will be looking inside the bank.
David DiCristofaro, who previously headed greater Los Angeles, will take on a new senior leadership role inside community banking, reporting to Cosentino.
(Reporting by Dan Freed in New York; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra, Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker)