Crime Pays: Wells Fargo Exec, Carrie Tolstedt, Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Gets to ‘Retire’ with $125 Million Bonus
“When Tolstedt leaves Wells Fargo later this year, on top of the $1.7 million in salary she has received over the past few years, she will be walking away with $124.6 million in stock, options, and restricted Wells Fargo shares. Some of that hasn’t vested yet. But Tolstedt gets to keep all of it because she technically retired.”
Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Collected $125 Million
Wells Fargo & Co’s WFC -0.37% “sandbagger”-in-chief is leaving the giant bank with an enormous pay day—$124.6 million.
In fact, despite beefed-up “clawback” provisions instituted by the bank shortly after the financial crisis, and the recent revelations of massive misconduct, it does not appear that Wells Fargo is requiring Carrie Tolstedt, the Wells Fargo executive who was in charge of the unit where employees opened more than 2 million largely unauthorized customer accounts—a seemingly routine practice that employees internally referred to as “sandbagging”—to give back any of her nine-figure pay.
On Thursday, Wells Fargo WFC -0.37% agreed to pay $185 million, including the largest penalty ever imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to settle claims that that it defrauded its customers. The bank’s shareholders will ultimately have to swallow the cost of that settlement. The bank also said it had fired 5,300 employees over five years related to the bad behavior.
Tolstedt, however, is walking away from Wells Fargo with a very full bank account—and praise. In the July announcement of her exit, which made no mention of the soon-to-be-settled case, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf said Tolstedt had been one of the bank’s most important leaders and “a standard-bearer of our culture” and “a champion for our customers.”