Wells Fargo employee who requested company-wide raises resigns

by MPA08 Apr 2015
The Wells Fargo employee, who made national headlines last year when he emailed CEO John Stumpf and cc’d 200,000 others at the bank about getting a raise, is resigning.

Tyrel Oates, who worked in a Wells Fargo processing center in Oregon, told The Charlotte Observer he emailed Stumpf a letter of resignation and added that the decision to leave the bank was his own, as he is pursuing a career in the agriculture industry.

In his resignation letter, Oates criticizes the company for its “complacent stance” on his request last year that the San Francisco-based bank give each of its employees a $10,000 raise. According to the resignation letter, about 5,000 people, including Wells Fargo employees and customers, signed a petition supporting his proposed raises, according to the media outlet.

“The only responses that have been provided thus far is the bank simply defending its compensation philosophy with no attempt to compromise, as well as limiting who we can and cannot email within the organization,” Oates wrote in his resignation letter. “These are not acceptable responses.”

In October 2014, at the bank’s quarterly company town hall meeting, Stumpf defended Wells Fargo’s pay structure. During the meeting, he said he wanted to address something that had been in the media recently regarding Wells Fargo’s compensation, though he didn’t specifically speak to the email from Oates.

Stumpf described the bank’s pay model as competitive and said that 40,000 employees received a promotional raise last year, according to Market Watch.

In the orginial email to Stumpf, Oates pointed out that Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage originator, has seen record profits, including $5.7 billion in the second quarter alone, and that Stumpf’s $19.3 million annual salary package was “more than most of the employees will see in their lifetimes.”

When news of Oates’ email hit the media, Wells Fargo responded with a prepared statement. “We provide market competitive compensation that combines base pay with a broad array of benefits and career-development opportunities for team members,” the bank said.

Oates’ current compensation was $15 per hour.  His pay began at $13 per hour when he started at the bank nearly seven years ago. During the same period, Stumpf’s annual compensation has increased by 40%.


  • by Dale H | 4/8/2015 9:58:55 AM

    Pursuing a career in agriculture in oregon Hmmmm Marijuana farm????

  • by Jeff B | 4/8/2015 10:04:37 AM

    Why did this idiot get an additional 15 minutes of fame? This article seemed to imply a bias towards Oates when it implied that Stumpf received a 40% raise while the poor rabblerouser went from $13/hour to $15/hr. Had the author used the proper comparison, the correct comparison is that Oates received a 15% raise over the same period relative to the CEO. While still not comparable, a rational person should assume that a CEO's worth is measured and compensated differntly than an hourly employee.

    As a manager, I have no problem with people valuing themselves higher than their company does but the rational solution to the problem is to be diplomatic in the negotiations and if the aggrieved employee is not satisfied with the result, to find work for an employer who will pay the rate that the employee demands. It is a free market in the space that exists amongst the government regulations and until this space ceases to exist, we should encourage folks like Oates to go play in it. It sounds like he ultimately did after committing a very selfish and unprofessional act of defiance.

  • by Dale Jr. | 4/8/2015 10:10:48 AM

    Dale it seems that if I worked somewhere seven years and only received a two dollar raise, and my company CEO and the business made record profits. I might consider selling "marijuana" myself.

    But working for Wells Fargo seems like another agriculture system I know, slavery.


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