When Wells Fargo decided to stop calling its branches "stores," it marked the symbolic end of an era. Wells long prided itself on its sales culture, which was championed by Richard Kovacevich, starting at Citibank, then as chief executive of Minneapolis-based Norwest Corp., and finally at Wells.
Kovacevich's strategy, which continued under recently departed CEO John Stumpf, hinged on selling more products to the bank's existing customers. Branches were stores, since stores are where consumers buy products.
The firm's sales culture has drawn sharp criticism in the wake of the revelation that the firm's employees opened as many as 2 million fraudulent customer accounts between 2011 and 2015. In response to the scandal, Wells announced that it was eliminating sales goals altogether. Here is a look back at some key milestones in the development and unraveling of the firm's once-vaunted sales culture.
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