Charlotte loses clout at Wells Fargo-Wachovia

More than five months into the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger, Charlotte is shaping up as a center for East Coast operations, wealth management and investment banking, but has much less leadership clout than it did prior to the deal.

Wachovia once had 15 of its 16 top executives based in its Charlotte headquarters, including the CEO, his direct reports and other top leaders. Now the city has just one executive, Wachovia veteran David Carroll, who answers directly to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

At least 15 others, however, have jobs two rungs down from the CEO or with responsibility for East Coast businesses, according to an analysis of leadership announcements.

While San Francisco-based Wells has kept its promise to make Charlotte an East Coast base, the long-term impact on Wachovia's former Charlotte operations is still unclear.

So far, the bank has said it will eliminate 548 positions in uptown Charlotte, but hasn't said how many jobs ultimately will be lost. Wells has said it will work hard to keep as many workers as possible, but some experts expect the layoff tally to grow much larger as Wells works to reduce companywide expenses by at least 10 percent.

“I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall,” said UNC Charlotte finance professor Tony Plath.

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