Diversity Leadership: John Stumpf, Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo CEO John StumpfJohn Stumpf
Chairman, President and CEO
Wells Fargo

Growing up with 10 siblings on a farm in the Midwest, John Stumpf knows firsthand the value of community. Though his hometown in rural Minnesota was predominantly white, Stumpf’s world broadened considerably as he moved up the ranks in the banking industry over three decades. He says he’s learned that everyone, regardless of his or her background, has similar needs for respect, relationships and responsibility.

Stumpf was at the helm when Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia in one of the largest corporate mergers in history. It was his personal touch that contributed to its success.

At a company with more than a quarter of a million employees, Stumpf takes personal responsibility for diversity, chairing the diversity council and reporting diversity results to the board of directors. He also requires all managers who report to him to mentor an employee from a traditionally underrepresented group. “We want an inclusive environment,” Stumpf told DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti. “We want people, when they come to work here, to have the freedom to express themselves and to share what I call plural pronouns: us, we and ours.”

Stumpf joined Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation in 1982 and held several management and regional leadership posts before becoming regional president for Norwest Bank Texas in 1994. After Norwest merged with Wells Fargo in 1998, he headed the three-state Southwestern Banking Group and then the 10-state Western Banking Group. In 2000, Stumpf oversaw Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Utah-based First Security Corporation, and in 2008, he led the bank’s historic merger with Wachovia. He was named President in 2005, CEO in 2007 and Chairman in 2010.

Stumpf received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University in 1976 and his MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 1980. He sits on numerous boards including The Clearing House, The Financial Services Roundtable, Target Corporation, Chevron Corporation and Junior Achievement of Northern California. He is also a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He and his family currently live in California.