For this project, we researched Wells Fargo?s performance in the last couple of years as a way to check on its progress to greatness. What we found was an overwhelmingly charismatic company that not only puts down its values in ink, but also strictly abides by them. Much to our surprise, a huge chunk of their thick annual report for 2002 was an honest listing of all the threatening factors that stand in the company?s way rather than its exceptional rankings in its sector. In this paper, we will focus specifically on Wells Fargo?s leadership, company culture, SWOT analysis, and financial performance analysis. We will try to link our findings to Jim Collins?s book as a way to prove that the company has really made the jump from good to great.
The CEO Dick Kovacevich became the head of the company in 1998 after its merger with Norwest Corp. ?Business Week? classifies him as one of the best managers: ?While many of his peers have been embroiled in one scandal or another, Wells Fargo & Co. CEO Richard M. Kovacevich, 59, has kept his bank safely out of the fray? (BW). Kovacevich obtained his MBA from Stanford after an injury in his shoulder kept him from becoming a pitcher for the New Yorker Yankees. Nevertheless, Kovacevich transports his athletic attitude to his business ?pitching hard and fast? in his industry (RMA Journal). For him, mistakes are unavoidable part of business but he treats them as opportunities to learn and grow. His core strategy is to sell as many products as possible to each customer. Currently, four products are sold on average to each customer, which is double the industry average. Furthermore, Kovacevich admits to his willingness to sacrifice a little profit margin for the purpose of building lasting and trusting relationships with their customers. Kovacevich has also invested in building better relationships between the management and the workers because for him having the right people on the team is crucial. He acknowledges the need for decentralization in such a big company, for the purpose of which the right people have to be picked and allowed to run the segment as if they own it. Ever since becoming a CEO, he has made worker satisfaction a top goal for Wells Fargo. He has also introduced incentives for his ?people goals? expressed in the generous bonuses (ranging from 10 ...
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The financial data for the company is convincingly good-to-great. Its revenues has been rising constantly since 1998 as can be seen on the exhibit. Net income for 2002 was the highest in 5 years ? $5,710 million, rising by 58% since 2001. Its total assets have increased by 13.6%.
Wells? financial performance is great compared to its competitors? as well. It has shown revenue growth (1%) above the industry average 0%, and well above the negative numbers in its biggest rivals BofA, Bank One Corp. and US Bank. Its revenue and net income are also much above the industry average and second only to BofA. Clearly, WFC is one of the best in its industry. More financial analysis can be found in the attached exhibits.
Our research has convinced us that WFC has made the transformation from a good to great company. We found that it has preserved its humane humble management style and its core values and culture, and together with the right people on the bus and with the sensible use of technology, has progressed even further. Their performance has been praiseworthy ? WFC survived the economic recession as one of the nation?s leaders in the financial services companies.
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