- Wells Fargo CTO Scott Dillon departed the role March 29 with no indication of when or who will replace him.
- The bank's CTO and CISO roles are to report to new head of technology Saul Van Beurden, who started earlier this month, said interim CEO C. Allen Parker, during the Q1 2019 earnings call on Friday.
- Dillon's departure comes as Wells Fargo is looking to technology leadership, in combination with its new chief auditor, to ensure the company is complying with regulations and deploying effective risk management, according to Parker. The bank is also strengthening its Enterprise Risk and Control Committee, according to Parker. The committee seats the heads of Wells Fargo's organizations and enterprise functions, co-chaired by chief risk officer Mandy Norton and Parker.
Wells Fargo is transforming its technology platforms for an improved customer experience with particular focus on providing scalable personalized advice for customers, digital acquisitions, improved digital payment systems, and expanded and integrated distribution.
Wells Fargo wants to enhance the customer experience "by becoming more centralized" in technology product delivery, said Parker. The company expects its technology spend to grow by 10% this year, totaling about $9 billion. To do this, the bank has put heavy emphasis on its leadership.
Van Beurden was added as the head of technology in January and started in the role earlier this month. In November the company appointed Courtney Smith Goodrich to chief operating officer of enterprise technology. She oversees the bank's enterprise technology strategy, process and "operational enablement," according to the announcement.
The focus on risk and technology transformation is well warranted, especially after the large-scale outage the bank experience in February. The data center outage caused the bank "to reverse some fees for people for a period of time," said senior EVP and CFO John Shrewsberry. Wells Fargo said the outage as "aberrant," causing its run rate to be higher than what the company posted.
A smoke detector led to an automatic power shutdown, sparking the outage. It caused a systemic rerouting to backup data centers the day of the outage. The interruption in service was a lesson in recovery, leaving the bank with a spike in call volumes and mobile traffic after services were restored.
Clarification: In an earnings call Wells Fargo identified Saul Van Beurden as CTO. His new role is head of technology, this brief has been updated to reflect his current role.