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All Wells Directors Win Re-Election, Though Most Should Resign

April 25, 2017

Chairman of the Board, Stephen Sanger, received a 56% approval vote. Two others received lower votes. Just three directors received more than 80% approval from voting shareholders. Sanger responded by observing:  


"Wells Fargo stockholders today have sent the entire Board a clear message of dissatisfaction. Let me assure you that the Board has heard that message, and we recognize there is still a great deal of work to do to rebuild the trust of stockholders, customers and employees."


Nice, contrite. But that statement probably won't cut it with most investors, even though Wells Fargo's guidelines require that directors offer to resign only if they fail to receive a majority of votes cast.


Fact is, any directors who fail to get 80% support should probably resign - according to Charles Elson, a University of Delaware expert on corporate governance, who adds that those directors have "a lot of soul-searching to do." That said, few analysts and corporate governance experts said they expected few immediate changes, even if shareholders had rejected the board. 


AND JUST FOR THE RECORD.   The three directors who received 99% approval from voting shareholders were recent additions: CEO Tim Sloan, along with Ronald Sargent and Karen Peetz, who were added to the board in February.