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Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan steps down as bank struggles to get past scandals

Wells Fargo & Co.’s embattled chief executive, Tim Sloan — who has struggled to get the giant San Francisco bank past a seemingly endless series of customer abuse scandals — retired suddenly Thursday.

He stepped down as CEO, president and board member effective immediately, with his retirement taking effect June 30, Wells Fargo said.

His interim replacement will be C. Allen Parker, who has served as the company’s general counsel since March 2017 after joining the bank from an outside law firm. Wells Fargo said a permanent chief executive would be hired from outside the bank.

Sloan, a low-key Wells Fargo veteran of 31 years, took over the top job in 2016 amid the fallout over the bank’s acknowledgement that employees had opened millions of checking, savings and credit card accounts that customers never authorized.

He was a top executive at Wells Fargo when the accounts were being created as early as 2002, including stints as chief financial officer, chief operating officer and president. That led critics to argue he should have known about the problems long before they became public and was thus ill-suited to lead the bank out of its mess.

Sloan said Thursday that he was confident he could do the job but decided it was best to step aside. “There’s just been too much focus on me and it’s impacting our ability to move forward,” he said during a conference call with analysts.

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