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  1. Business

Fighting scandal, Wells Fargo cuts regional execs including Tampa head

Wells Fargo, seeking to trim $4 billion in expenses and put to rest a fake-accounts scandal in its community bank, shuffled its retail banking leadership, cutting 69 of its regional bank leaders. The consolidation shrinks Wells regional executives to 91 from 160.

One of those casualties was Tampa-based David Guzman, a 15-year veteran of Wells Fargo and since 2013 regional president and executive vice president for West Florida community banking.

Taking Guzman's place is Joe Atkinson, who previously served as South Florida region president for Wells. Atkinson will relocate to Tampa. Before running South Florida for Wells, Atkinson served as the bank's greater Georgia north community bank president, and earlier worked in Texas.

"Change is hard, yet change is necessary to make sure we are well positioned for the future," Mary Mack, head of Wells Fargo's giant retail bank, said Friday in a memo to staff. "In order to truly be better, we must put the right structure in place."

The memo was confirmed by Wells Fargo spokesman Michael Gray.

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Wells Fargo's community-banking division, which houses the retail bank, has generated weaker profit since September when Wells Fargo was fined $185 million because employees had been opening accounts for more than a half decade without customers' permission. Last week, another scandal was revealed in which the bank had charged as many as 800,000 customers for auto insurance they didn't need.

Wells Fargo holds the second largest market share of banking deposits in Florida and the Tampa Bay area behind Bank of America.