Consider Franklin Codel: After more than two decades at Wells Fargo, he’s risen to become head of consumer lending, one of the top dozen or so executives riding in the front of the stagecoach. When he first got into banking, way back in the go-go mid-90s, the whole idea was to make it into a corner office, from which you would one day leap—protected by a lavish, unspeakable generous golden parachute.
Then, bad things started happening, including in Codel’s owndepartment. This made regulators and senators very, very angry, and to appease them, Wells sacrificed its CEO—and also, apparently, those sweet, sweet going away presents that he’d worked so hard to one day earn.
Unsurprisingly, Codel wasn’t too happy about this. And he made that unhappiness clear to his mortgage-division deputy, another two-decade-plus veteran, Greg Gwizdz. This is understandable. It is also apparently fatal for a career at today’s Wells Fargo.
Mr. Codel was fired Thursday over a disparaging remark he made about regulators to Greg Gwizdz, a senior mortgage official who worked under Mr. Codel and was terminated earlier this year, people familiar with the matter said….
Mr. Gwizdz reported Mr. Codel’s comment to the bank, which then reported it to its regulators. Though it isn’t uncommon for bankers to make disparaging remarks about regulators in private, one person familiar with the matter said that given Wells Fargo’s position with a bevy of investigations, it felt the need to act….
One person familiar with the situation said Mr. Codel wasn’t fired because of the bank’s sensitive regulatory position, but because the comment he made didn’t meet the bank’s standards. The firing was “for acting in a manner that was contrary to the company’s policies and expectations of its senior leaders,” the bank said in a news release.