Wells Fargo CEO to speak at Power Breakfast in Seattle

WSU has announced that Wells Fargo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kovacevich will be the guest speaker at the College of Business Power Breakfast, to be held Thursday, April 13 in Seattle.

The breakfast is scheduled from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Seattle, located at 721 Pine St. Washington CEO magazine is a media sponsor for the event.

“We welcome Richard Kovacevich and are pleased to have such a renowned and innovative executive as our fourth Power Breakfast speaker,” says WSU College of Business Dean Eric R. Spangenberg. “His leadership is integral to what has been described as ‘the best managed company in U.S. banking’ by Forbes magazine, and his insights into the industry will be very valuable.”

Kovacevich lists two reasons for the success of 151-year-old Wells Fargo.

“First and foremost, our people,” he says. “We have the most committed, talented, experienced, innovative, and caring people in the industry. The second reason is that for 15 years we’ve demonstrated that our business model – diversified financial services, not just banking – and earning all of our customers’ business does work.” The diversified financial services organization is the only one of its kind to earn Moody’s Aaa-debt rating.

A native of Enumclaw, Wash., Kovacevich is a graduate of Stanford University. He became president and CEO of Wells Fargo & Company in Nov. 1998 following its merger with Norwest Corporation. He was named chairman in April 2001. Prior to the merger, Kovacevich was named CEO of Norwest in 1993 and chairman in 1995 after serving as president and chief operating officer since 1989. He joined Norwest in March 1986 as vice chairman, COO, and head of its banking group.

He currently serves on the boards of Cargill, Cisco Systems, and Target Corp., and is a member of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Advisory Council.

Kovacevich joins a distinguished set of executives who have addressed guests at the Power Breakfast series. Previous speakers include Kerry Killinger, CEO and president of Washington Mutual; Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom, Inc.; and Scott Carson, executive vice president of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The WSU College of Business Power Breakfast is open to the public. Reservations can be made online at events.wsu.edu/powerbreakfast. The cost per person is $25. For more information, contact Traci Tyacke, WSU College of Business events manager, at (509) 335-1386 or by e-mail at supportexcellence@cbe.wsu.edu.

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