Wells Fargo's Modjtabai to exit as Scharf shapes leadership

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Avid Modjtabai, who runs Wells Fargo's payments and technology innovation unit, is leaving the firm as new Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf continues to shake up top management.

She will retire in March after 26 years at the bank, Wells Fargo said in a statement Wednesday. Separately, JPMorgan Chase veteran Ray Fischer is joining to lead cards, retail and merchant services, adding to the ranks of that firm's alums now at Wells Fargo.

Modjtabai, once seen as a candidate for CEO, has run Wells Fargo's payments, virtual solutions and innovation unit since its creation in 2016. She has worked at the San Francisco-based bank since 1993 in positions including consumer-lending chief before a series of scandals across its retail units.

She is the second top Wells Fargo executive to announce an exit since Scharf was named CEO in September. Last week, the bank said general counsel and former interim CEO Allen Parker will leave next year. Scharf also appointed Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff, as vice chairman of public affairs earlier this month.

"I am pleased that, as I complete my plan for retirement, I will be leaving a company that has such bright prospects and renewed momentum," Modjtabai said in the statement.

Fischer takes over the duties of Beverly Anderson, who left the Wells Fargo for Equifax Inc. earlier this month. He spent 14 years as chief financial officer of card, merchant services and auto finance at JPMorgan, where he worked on a partnership with Visa Inc. Scharf joined Visa as CEO in 2012 after a decade at JPMorgan. Fischer will report to Modjtabai when he joins Wells Fargo this month, according to the statement.

Modjtabai was one of eight senior executives whose 2016 cash bonuses were withheld and 2014 equity compensation clawed back as the board held senior leaders accountable for a fake-accounts scandal. The actions amounted to about $32 million total, the bank said at the time.

Bloomberg News
National banks Innovation Payments Avid Modjtabai Charles Scharf Wells Fargo Women in Banking