Warren Buffett is calling for Wells Fargo to look outside Wall Street for its next CEO as the bank searches for a candidate to replace Tim Sloan.
In an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday, Buffett said Wells Fargo should not look to J.P. Morgan or Goldman Sachs as a recruiting ground for its next leader.
“They just have to come from someplace [outside Wells Fargo] and they shouldn’t come from Wall Street,” Buffett told the Financial Times. “They probably shouldn’t come from J.P. Morgan or Goldman Sachs.”
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is Wells Fargo’s single largest shareholder.
Buffett said that although there are plenty of qualified candidates on Wall Street, they would draw too much scrutiny from congressional leaders.
“There are plenty of good people to run it, but they are automatically going to draw the ire of a significant percentage of the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and that’s just not smart,” Buffett said.
His comments come a little over a week after Tim Sloan resigned as Wells Fargo’s CEO and president. Sloan had been hammered by members of Congress over his handling of a scandal in which employees created millions of fake accounts to meet sales quotas.
Just before Sloan’s resignation was announced, Buffett told CNBC that he supported Sloan “100 percent.”
“I don’t want his job. … I’m very empathetic to anybody who walks into a big problem and a very, very large and politically sensitive institution,” Buffett said at the time.
The investor told CNBC that Sloan had informed him that he planned to resign. Buffett said he had not spoken with anyone on the board about it and the move was “out of the blue.”
Wells Fargo’s board said it would look outside the bank for Sloan’s replacement. Allen Parker, the bank’s general counsel, has taken over as interim CEO as Wells conducts its search.
Buffett said Wells Fargo remains strong despite the fallout from the fake accounts scandal.
“If you look at Wells, through this whole thing they’re uncovering a whole lot of problems, but they aren’t losing any customers to speak of,” Buffett told the Financial Times.
Wells Fargo’s shares are up nearly 6% year to date. The bank’s stock closed slightly down Friday at $48.78.
Correction: This story has been updated to remove an incorrect title for Tim Sloan. He was CEO and president of Wells Fargo before resigning in March.