Wells Fargo & Co. said Tuesday that it had named vice chairman and chief financial officer Rodney L. Jacobs as the company's new president.

The presidency had been vacant since William F. Zuendt retired in June 1997.

Reporting to Wells chairman and chief executive officer Paul Hazen, Mr. Jacobs, 57, will continue to oversee the company's finance, operations, and systems groups along with its administrative divisions, strategic planning, legal, corporate properties, corporate communications, and corporate/community development.

"Rod's extensive work experience and his academic background make him particularly well suited to lead these critical functions," Mr. Hazen said.

Mr. Jacobs earned a PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1976. He has been with Wells since 1979.

Analysts applauded the appointment.

"Rod has one of greatest commands of the financial aspect of the business of anybody I've ever met," said R. Jay Tejera, an analyst with Dain Rauscher in Minneapolis.

Executive vice president and head of finance Ross J. Kari, 39, succeeds Mr. Jacobs as chief financial officer.

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