Wells Fargo's former interim CEO Parker to leave in March

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Allen Parker, who led Wells Fargo during its six-month search for a new chief executive, will leave the bank next year.

Parker plans to depart at the end of March "to pursue other business opportunities," Wells Fargo said Thursday in a statement. The bank said it would immediately start looking for a new general counsel to replace Parker.

The firm's 64-year-old top lawyer became interim CEO in March, when Tim Sloan stepped down amid a series of scandals at the San Francisco-based bank. Charlie Scharf, previously head of Bank of New York Mellon, took over from Parker last month.

Parker joined Wells Fargo in 2017 after spending decades at the New York law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore. As the search for Sloan's permanent replacement dragged on, some of the company's most senior insiders proposed Parker take on the top job permanently.

Keeping Parker was pitched as a way to foster continuity and give the board more time to groom a permanent successor — maybe even from within. With the decision to hire Scharf, the bank instead went with an outsider who had more experience running a bank.

Scharf, 54, will have to fix the bank's relations with the government and reinvigorate the lender after its stock trailed the performance of most of its rivals in recent years. The bank still faces several investigations and outstanding consent orders, including a growth restriction imposed by the Federal Reserve.

Bloomberg News