Truist created a chief operating officer role and hired away a Wells Fargo executive to become its new chief wholesale banking officer, the bank announced Tuesday.
Truist’s vice chair, Beau Cummins, will become COO immediately, the bank said. Cummins has been with Truist or predecessor SunTrust since 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before becoming vice chair in September 2021, Cummins was head of Truist’s corporate and institutional group.
Kristin Lesher will join Truist in February as chief wholesale banking officer, the bank also announced. Lesher, a longtime Wells Fargo veteran who came to the San Francisco-based bank when it acquired Wachovia in 2009, most recently served as Wells’ head of middle market banking, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In her new role, she’ll oversee corporate and investment banking, commercial banking, commercial real estate and wealth management businesses, Truist said. Cummins will lead Truist’s wholesale banking business until Lesher arrives.
Truist also named Joe Thompson as its chief governance and controls officer, according to Tuesday’s press release. Thompson, who has been with Truist or SunTrust since 2001, previously served as head of Truist Wealth.
Brian Dowhower will succeed Thompson at the helm of Truist Wealth. A nine-year veteran of Truist and SunTrust, previously was head of wealth and institutional advisory services, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Truist also tweaked the title of one of its fastest-rising executives. The bank named Dontá Wilson its chief consumer and small business banking officer. The only word that changed is “consumer.” Wilson, since last year, served as the bank’s chief retail and small business banking officer. He previously was the bank’s chief digital officer.
"This evolution of our management team speaks to the client-centric, performance-driven company we are building," Truist CEO Bill Rogers said in a statement Tuesday. "Beau, Dontá and Kristin are talented leaders who bring tremendous depth of experience to these key roles.”
The wording change in Wilson’s title could be indicative of Truist’s larger reorganization, which CFO Mike Maguire this month said would help the bank avoid “any sort of siloed or inefficient decision making.”
Indeed, Truist formed an operating council “to expand leadership opportunities, ensure inclusive feedback and break down silos to enable the company to more effectively pursue its goals,” the bank said Tuesday. Cummins, Wilson, Thompson and Dowhower all serve on the council.
“Our updated leadership structure will streamline decision-making, deliver superior client experience, drive accelerated performance and actualize our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities,” Rogers said Tuesday.
Truist in September announced it would cut $750 million in costs over the next 12 to 18 months. As part of that, the bank said it planned to reduce its number of division heads from seven to three by the end of this year. It has also seen some high-level executive departures, including Vinoo Vijay, who had served as the bank’s chief marketing officer since 2020.