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Two Southern California executives out at Wells Fargo amid stream of departures

Two Southern California executives out at Wells Fargo amid stream of departures
Regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million after finding that bank employees, driven by onerous sales goals, had opened millions of checking, savings and other accounts that customers may not have wanted or authorized. (FREDERIC J BROWN / AFP/Getty Images)

Two regional Wells Fargo executives who oversaw operations across a broad swath of Southern California — one of the hot spots in the company's sales practices scandal — have left the bank.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman confirmed that Marla Clemow and Reza Razzaghipour, former regional presidents, no longer work for the San Francisco banking giant but would not disclose details of their departure.

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"We can confirm the individuals are no longer with the company, but decline to comment further," spokeswoman Jennifer Langan said. "We are focused on ensuring we have the right people and leaders in place to rebuild trust and build a better bank."

Clemow had been in charge of the bank's operations in much of the San Fernando Valley and also oversaw branches from Hollywood to the South Bay; Razzaghipour oversaw bank operations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Bakersfield, Santa Clarita and the West San Fernando Valley.

Clemow and Razzaghipour, who are reportedly married, could not be reached for comment.

Their departures come just a few weeks after the bank publicly fired four higher-level executives over the problems with the bank's sales practices, which were first reported in a 2013 Times investigation.

Last year, regulators fined the bank $185 million after finding that bank employees, driven by onerous sales goals, had opened millions of checking, savings and other accounts that customers may not have wanted or authorized.

The scandal led to the resignation of Wells Fargo Chairman and Chief Executive John Stumpf and the retirement of Carrie Tolstedt, the head of the community banking division.

More than 5,000 bank workers also lost their jobs over unethical practices, which prompted some lawmakers to chide the bank for firing low-ranking, front-line workers while regional and national executives kept their jobs.

The four executives fired last month included Shelley Freeman, a former Los Angeles regional president and later the head of the bank's consumer credit division. The bank announced that its board voted unanimously to fire Freeman and three others for cause.

The bank last week said it would cancel bonuses and revoke millions in compensation from eight top executives, including Tim Sloan, who replaced Stumpf as CEO in October. The bank also eliminated sales goals for front-line workers as a part of a reform of its incentive compensation system.

Also, on Monday, the bank announced it had hired a new head attorney.

C. Allen Parker, now a partner at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, will replace James Strother as Wells Fargo's general counsel later this month. Strother is retiring.

Follow me: @jrkoren

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