By Greg Ryan Law and Money Reporter, Boston Business Journal

Scott Powell has left his role as chief executive of Boston-based Santander U.S. to be Wells Fargo & Co.’s chief operating officer, the companies said Monday.

Powell will be replaced by (NYSE: SAN) in September from the West Coast lender Timothy Wennes, who came to SantanderMUFG Union Bank. Wennes had joined Santander as the CEO of the banking unit. He will keep that role and add on Powell’s duties as the head of U.S. operations at the Spanish financial giant.

When Powell took over as Santander’s CEO in 2015, it was dogged by persistent regulatory problems and an uneven financial performance. Under his leadership, it’s been able to leave behind some of those regulatory issues – it no longer fails the federal government’s “stress test” for big banks – though it is still under a 2017 Federal Reserve enforcement action. It’s also improved its profitability, as well as its customer satisfaction ratings, which at one point were consistently the worst in the region.

In Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), he is joining a bank that has for years been mired in controversy, stemming from the 2016 revelation that its employees had created fake accounts, without customers’ permission, while under pressure to meet sales goals.

Powell will work with Wells Fargo’s newly minted CEO, Charles Scharf, who joined the company in October from Bank of New York Mellon. Powell and Scharf overlapped as senior executives at a previous employer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Powell will leave Boston for New York, according to a statement from Wells Fargo. He starts on Dec. 9.

“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,” Powell said in a statement.

While headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has a sizable Boston commercial banking operation, with 800 employees in the city as of earlier this year. It does not have retail branches in Massachusetts.

Powell had also served as the CEO of Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC), the company’s Dallas-based auto financing wing. Mahesh Aditya, the Santander U.S. chief risk officer, will replace him in that role.

“Tim and Mahesh have proven themselves to be excellent leaders with tremendous expertise and talent,” Ana Botin, the executive chairman of Santander’s Spanish parent, Banco …read more

Source:: Daily Times


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Santander CEO Scott Powell leaves for Wells Fargo – Boston Business Journal

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