Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf apologized Wednesday for his comments about diversity in the company.
“There are many talented diverse individuals working at Wells Fargo and throughout the financial services industry and I never meant to imply otherwise,” Scharf said in a Wednesday statement according to Reuters. “Across the industry, we have not done enough to improve diversity, especially at senior leadership levels.” (RELATED: Wells Fargo Bows Out Of Small Business Bailout Program)
Wells Fargo faced backlash Tuesday after a Reuters report revealed that the Scharf said in a June 18 company-wide memo that the reason for a lack of diversity within the company was that there wasn’t enough black talent to recruit from.
“While it might sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from,” the memo read, according to Reuters.
The CEO made similar comments during a Zoom meeting over the summer, 2 people who were in the meeting told Reuters.
“There is no question Wells Fargo has to make meaningful progress to increase diverse representation,” Scharf said in his apology.
The company also issued an apology Tuesday night on Twitter.
“I am sorry my comment has been misinterpreted,” Scharf’s Tuesday night statement read. “The financial industry and our company do not reflect the diversity of our population. We, at Wells Fargo, are committed to driving change and improving diversity and inclusion.”
A statement from our CEO regarding the recent media reports: pic.twitter.com/HBdzDxoTdh
— Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo) September 23, 2020
Critics of the company included Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said on Twitter that “Perhaps it’s the CEO of Wells Fargo who lacks the talent to recruit Black workers.”