Wells Taps Former Santander Chief For COO Role

Wells Fargo has hired former Santander head executive, Scott Powell, as its new chief operating officer, according to a release on Monday (Dec. 2). Powell will start his new job on Dec 9.

Powell will serve on the bank’s Operating Committee and he’ll report directly to company CEO and President Charlie Scharf. Powell most recently worked as the CEO of Santander Holdings USA, and he was also the CEO of Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., which was a company that was consumer finance-focused and operated in the vehicle finance and third-party servicing sectors.

“I have known Scott for many years, and his tremendous experience, proven track record and unquestioned integrity will make him a great addition to our management team,” Scharf said. “He’s the ideal person to take on this new position as we seek to transform Wells Fargo so that high-quality execution, clear accountability and operational excellence become unquestioned components of our culture. These elements are critical for us as we tackle our most important priority, regulatory remediation, and also create the foundation from which to build Wells Fargo and to best serve our customers.”

In his new position, Powell will be in charge of “regulatory execution and relations, enterprise shared services and a range of operational functions across the company. He will be empowered to execute on the company’s regulatory commitments, build the strongest possible operational standards and governance and deliver consistent, high-quality customer service,” the release said.

When he worked at Santander, Powell helped the outfit turn around financially, working through regulatory issues and putting customer-focused programs in place.

“I am truly excited about the opportunity to join Wells Fargo and take on this new role during a critical period in Wells Fargo’s history. Like Charlie, I have long admired and respected Wells Fargo. The company plays an important role in the U.S. economy, and we must ensure we are operating seamlessly and with the utmost integrity,” Powell said. “I recognize that expectations are high and that we have significant work ahead of us. By working together and holding each other accountable, I’m confident that we will meet those expectations.”

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