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Wells Fargo and Firing Former Employees as a Part of Mergers and Acquisitions...

Here's a truism that mom and dad tried to teach you:  You'll have to live with your actions and decisions for a lifetime.  Whether you break the law, treat someone poorly or have opinions you've vocalized, you own it.  The hard part is that sometimes you own it in a way you never expected or a way that seems particularly unfair. 

So it goes with mergers and acquisitions, and the god-like ability of the acquirer to decide who theyWells fargo want to keep.  Here's how it works.  Company A buys Company B, and as part of the due diligence, Company A gets a complete employee listing.  In addition to deciding if employees are going to be laid off due to duplication or a shifting of work once the companies merge, Company A also looks at the list and sees that multiple former employees of Company A now work for Company B.

The question is whether Company A wants the former employees back.  Well Fargo recently signed a deal to acquire Wachovia, and as you might expect, there are a lot of Wachovia employees who used to work for Wells Fargo. 

Here are the facts on the former Wells Fargo employee numbers now at Wachovia, and the decision on who will be retained, as reported by Forbes:

"National bank Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday it will not retain 175 employees from Wachovia who do not fit Well Fargo's employment eligibility requirements.  San Francisco-based Wells Fargo recently acquired Wachovia and had been reviewing the employment eligibility of Wachovia's current employees who had previously worked at Wells Fargo.

The 175 employees not offered employment were among more than 2,000 Wachovia employees that had previously worked for Wells Fargo. Those decision to not offer those employees jobs was based on each person's employment history with Wells Fargo, according to a spokeswoman.

Those employees who didn't meet the requirements have been given the opportunity to request a review of their status. The spokeswoman said many of them have opted for that review."

Initially, only the number of employees not to be retained was publicized, and the reaction was negative.  Then, the total numbers came - out of 2,000 employees, over 90% were being retained.  The reason the 175 weren't being retained?  A variety of reasons related to their employment history.

Think about that for a minute.  Out of the 175 not retained, as with any population, there's probably some bad stuff that led them to be removed from Wells Fargo before they joined Wachovia.  There's likely also some classic human preference, in that a Wells Fargo manager doesn't want certain employees on their team because they felt they were disruptive, not talented, etc.

Now, think about the employees who have left your company.  Fair to say, if you were faced with a hire/rehire decision, that you would pass on 10% of your former employees?

That's what I thought.  Wells Fargo is just doing what you would do.  No need for outrage...



Good post, Kris. A few more details on this story can be found on Investment News' site. Some of those released were high producers for Wachovia's brokerage business: http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090118/REG/301189969

Kris Dunn

Carroll -

Thanks for the link, and an interesting point to this is the angle of high producers. Let's assume that many of the 175 not retained were termed at Wells Fargo, or left under circumstances that coded them as "ineligible for rehire".

Now consider the high producers. This group would ordinarily be the one a company would be most likely to overlook the transgressions of, yet WF decided not to take them.

With that in mind, I'd say that this group represents the block of employees WF said no to for simply political reasons - they didn't like them, they got under the skin of some key executives, etc. Why else wouldn't they bring them back?

It's got to be human nature. Thoughts?



It's not about the percentage figures and whether or not 10% is a good number to pass on or 5% would be better etc... It's about the individual cases and whose judgement is being applied in terminiating these employees. Of the 10% being passed on I'm sure there are numerous cases in which the degree of their historical blunders w/ company A was small relative to the majority within that 10% (or anyone else let go by company A for that matter). And I'm sure there are some to be found in the 90% left to stay who would make those "non-threataning" few within the 10% look like angels. As spoken from a former member of some company's 10% and current member of wells fargo's own current 90%.

Guity Yeroushalmi

To whom is concern or Hr evey time I feelout aplication for job they send me to fill out something else & I do it I don't even belive they even see or consider me for job because I am very good condid for those jobs.gy.

This post is funny

Those 175 left Wells Fargo when Wachovia approached them and offered better pay. Would you rehire someone who left you for more money?

Jon Dose

Those who left for more money are competent and know what he/she wants. I am not saying those who stays are incompetent. Those who stays maybe loyal and doesn't want to deal with changes. However, they should hire them back at the salary the company wishes to pay. It’s the employee/candidate decision to take it or leave it. The manager isn’t always professional and treat a certain employees unjust. Lets also look at a certain managers role and skills he/she possessed. I am being let go and my manager told me to train the remaining employees before I go. Is this fair or simply the manager is having a lack of knowledge, people skills, and perhaps both. His boss is also aware of the situation but doesn’t do anything about it.

I’d like to take this issue to HR but I am afraid it gets worst. Perhaps loose my severance as my manager told me. There was a time that employees were required to have a meeting with HR personnel. After that meeting, I started to hear rumors about my quote, which really scared me of how unprofessional some of managers at WFF are. Confidential information? Nothing is confidential here at WFF.

Any suggestion about what I should do if I am being bogged everyday to train the retained employees before I officially cut, after my pre-notice?

Any advice is appreciated,

Jemmie Crickets

I worked at Wells Fargo Auto Finance and they are a joke. At one point my husband and I both had a credit card thru WF plus slumberland cards and a checking account. Believe me I will NEVER do business with them again as they are a bunch of egotistical POS. Their goal is to have each household 9+ services thru wells fargo...they are a black hole....Run while you can!

April Denet

Wells Fargo managers told Wachovia employees in group meetings: "I don't want any of you. We will push all of you out." and they did 98% of Wachovia employees were not terminated they were driven out and given nothing

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