Wells Fargo CEO apologizes for comments about diversity

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf is apologizing for comments he made about the difficulty of finding qualified Black executives

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf apologized Wednesday for comments he made about the difficulty of finding qualified Black executives.

Scharf said that “there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from” in the corporate America. The memo was written in June, but became public this week.

The comments and similar statements made in a Zoom meeting, reported by Reuters, led to an intense backlash in Washington and on social media.

“Perhaps it is the CEO of Wells Fargo who lacks the talent to recruit Black workers,” said Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, on Twitter.

Scharf on Wednesday said in a prepared statement that his comments reflected “my own unconscious bias.”

“There is no question Wells Fargo has to make meaningful progress to increase diverse representation,” he wrote.

American banking is dominated by leadership that is largely white and male. None of the six big Wall Street banks have ever had a Black or female CEO. Citigroup a few weeks ago announced it would promote a woman to CEO next year, the first on Wall Street to do so.

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