When you ask Tim Sloan what he values most after nearly 30 years with Wells Fargo, he says, “Our people and their incredible focus: The Wells Fargo team is dedicated to serving customers, they care about one another, and their commitment to our thousands of communities is second to none.”
Sloan, 56, was named CEO of Wells Fargo Oct. 12 and joined the board of directors upon John Stumpf’s decision to retire. Sloan says, “My immediate and highest priority is to restore trust in Wells Fargo and build a stronger and better Wells Fargo for generations to come.”
Non-Executive Chairman Stephen Sanger said, “The board of directors has great confidence in Tim Sloan. He is a proven leader who knows Wells Fargo’s operations deeply, holds the respect of its stakeholders, and is ready to lead the company into the future.”
Sloan is a 29-year veteran of Wells Fargo and has served in numerous leadership positions across the company’s Wholesale and Commercial Banking operations. He became president and chief operational officer in November 2015, when he assumed leadership of all four of the company’s main business groups.
From paper route to CEO
Sloan’s path to leadership of Wells Fargo may have begun as a youngster delivering newspapers in Michigan. “Those early mornings were awfully cold, but I realized that getting up early meant I could get a lot done,” he recalls. His other jobs included shoveling snow, waiting tables, and working as a golf caddie.
The summer before he went to college at the University of Michigan, Sloan started a lawn-care business with a friend. “We wore T-shirts with the slogan, ‘If you can grow it, we can mow it,’ ” he says. “It was my first exposure to branding.”
Sloan’s banking career began when he worked as a teller during summer breaks from college. “It was a great experience,” he says. “That is when I really learned the importance of customer service.”
Later, while earning his MBA (also from the University of Michigan), he took a class that focused on the capital needs of a struggling manufacturing company. “That is what got me excited about commercial lending,” recalls Sloan. “I learned how bankers can make a difference for their customers.”
Sloan joined Wells Fargo in 1987 as part of a team that works with customers who face challenges in repaying their loans. He later held leadership roles in credit and real estate.
Sloan also headed groups such as Commercial Banking, Commercial Real Estate, and Specialized Financial Services. He played a leadership role in the Wachovia merger and other acquisitions, including the recent transactions with General Electric Capital Corp.
He says his career has led to an appreciation “of the strength of our businesses and the commitment of our team members to serve customers. Wells Fargo serves one out of three households in the U.S. We are an integral part of people’s lives.”
He describes his leadership style this way: “I lead by example, reinforce the importance of our team’s focus on serving customers, and try to come to work every day with a positive attitude.”
CEO Tim Sloan at a glance
Joined Wells Fargo: 1987
Roles at Wells Fargo: Head of Wholesale Banking; chief financial officer; chief administrative officer; several leadership roles in Wholesale Banking, including head of Commercial Banking, head of Real Estate, and head of Specialized Loan Services.
Boards: Serves on the board of overseers of the Huntington Library in greater Los Angeles; member of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of business advisory board; trustee of Ohio Wesleyan University; trustee of City of Hope, a Southern California research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases; member of the board of directors of California Resources Corporation; member of the board of trustees at California Institute of Technology.
Personal: Married with three children and two grandchildren.