A brazen Oregon employee of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, one of the largest U.S. banks, sent the bank’s CEO John Stumpf an email that has gotten quite a lot of attention.
Employee Tyrel Oates proposed to the CEO that Wells Fargo give each of its roughly 263,000 employees a $10,000 raise. Do this, Oates urges, “to show the rest of the United States, if not the world, that, yes, big corporations can have a heart other than philanthropic endeavors.”
Oates told the Charlotte Observer that he has been with Wells Fargo for about seven years. He started out making $13 per hour. Now his hourly rate is $15, the report said.
Oates did not mince words. In the emailed letter, Oates brings up the issue of income inequality. And he reminds the CEO that he took home $19 million in compensation for 2013.
“My proposal is take $3 billion dollars, just a small fraction of what Wells Fargo pulls in annually, and raise every employees annual salary by $10,000 dollars,” writes Oates. “This equates to an hourly raise about $4.71 per hour. Think, as well, of the positive publicity in a time of extreme consumer skepticism towards banks.”
Stumpf, 60, grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. His humble beginnings included working as a bread maker after high school graduation. Eventually, he got into St. Cloud University and got a job at First Bank in St. Paul as a repossession agent. He late received his MBA from the University of Minnesota.
The CEO has yet to respond to the email. Oates, the employee who wrote it, says he’s still employed by the company, where he processes requests from Wells Fargo customers seeking to stop debt-collection calls. He said his manager has assured him he won’t lose his job.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman simply told the Observer in an email that Wells Fargo provides “market competitive” compensation that combines base pay with benefits and career-development opportunities.
A cop of the letter has been posted on Reddit.