Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf can keep his chairmanship at least another year — and even then there might not be much mystery.
About 17% of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal to separate the chairman and CEO roles at Wells, which was submitted by Denver investor Gerald Armstrong. It won't be known what portions of the rest voted against it or how many abstained until the bank files an 8-K later with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Lara Palles, who spoke at Wells' annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., on behalf of Armstrong, pointed out that Wells was one of three large banks that flunked its living will submission to regulators this month.
"Mr. Armstrong believes this is alarming," Palles said.
Palles also criticized Stumpf's service on the board of Target, citing the May 2014 termination of its former chairman and CEO, Gregg Steinhafel.
"If Stumpf could not see the weaknesses at Target, is he blind to it at Wells Fargo?" Palles said.
No other shareholders spoke in favor of the proposal.
Palles spoke before shareholders voted on the question. As soon as she stopped speaking to the audience, Stumpf told shareholders that "there are a number of inaccuracies in that statement, but we will address those later."
Stumpf did not specify what was inaccurate, and the company did not raise the issue again later in the meeting.