John Stumpf, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo & Co., is stepping down immediately in the wake of withering criticism of the banking giant and its leaders over the fake-accounts scandal.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Stumpf’s exit Wednesday, citing an unnamed “person familiar with the matter.” The bank later confirmed the news in a statement.

The San Francisco-based bank (NYSE: WFC) said Stumpf had “informed the company’s Board of Directors that he is retiring.”

Stumpf will be replaced by Wells Fargo President and COO Timothy J. Sloan as chief executive, who will join the board. Lead independent board member Stephen Sanger will become non-executive chairman.

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