Wells Fargo & Co. said Richard Kovacevich, its chairman, will stick around "for an interim period" after Wells closes its landmark deal for Wachovia Corp. next month.

Wells said Monday that its board has made an exception to the San Francisco company's bylaws to allow Mr. Kovacevich to remain beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65. Mr. Kovacevich turned 65 last week.

The $622 billion-asset Wells also said Monday that Philip J. Quigley would become its first lead director on Jan. 1. Mr. Quigley, who retired as chairman and chief executive of Pacific Telesis Group, has been a Wells director since 1994 and chairs its audit and examination committee.

Mr. Kovacevich would primarily assist John Stumpf, Wells' president and CEO, in the Wachovia integration.

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