July 21, 2020 / 1:18 PM / 13 days ago

Wells Fargo appoints CFO as part of leadership shakeup

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) said on Tuesday Mike Santomassimo would replace John Shrewsberry as chief financial officer when he retires in the fall after more than two decades at the firm.

FILE PHOTO: Warning signs for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen on a Wells Fargo bank door in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Since taking over as chief executive in October, Charles Scharf has shaken up leadership at the bank and installed a slew of former colleagues and confidants in top positions.

Santomassimo most recently served as Scharf’s CFO at Bank of New York Mellon (BK.N) and previously led the finance teams for various business lines at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).

Shrewsberry, who told Scharf he was considering retirement when he joined the company, will stay on to ensure a smooth transition, the company said. Shrewsberry was named CFO in 2014 after running Wells Fargo Securities and Wells Fargo’s commercial capital division.

When Santomassimo joins the company in the fall, the top three executives will be based in New York, away from the bank’s official San Francisco headquarters.

Santomassimo will receive an annual base salary of $1.75 million and a minimum variable compensation of $9.25 million for the performance year 2020, the bank said in a filing.

The change at Wells Fargo comes as it gears up to launch a broad cost-cutting initiative this year and continues to work through expensive regulatory and operational problems tied to a long-running sales scandal.

On an earnings call last week, Scharf slammed prior management for failing to run the bank in an efficient and compliant manner, saying the firm’s underperformance was “because leadership didn’t make the difficult decisions necessary.”

However, he struck a different tone on Tuesday talking about out Shrewsberry, a 22-year Wells Fargo veteran.

“Throughout his tenure, John has served as an excellent financial and strategic leader for our company,” Scharf said. “He is well-respected throughout the company and the financial community.”

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Abhishek Manikandan; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Nick Zieminski and Anil D'Silva

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