Wells Fargo said the independent directors of its board appointed Stephen W. Sanger as lead director effective January 1, 2012. Sanger, who has served as a director since 2003, succeeds Philip J. Quigley, who served as the lead director since January 2009 and continues to serve as a director on Wells Fargo’s board.

“Phil Quigley has provided outstanding service and leadership to Wells Fargo as a director since 1994 and as lead director for the past three years. His insight, experience and commitment have been key to Wells Fargo’s success during a critical and dynamic time for our company and the financial services industry,” said John Stumpf, chairman and CEO. “Steve Sanger also has been a strong contributor to our board and I know he will carry out the responsibilities of lead director with his characteristic thoroughness, enthusiasm, and dedication to serving the best interests of Wells Fargo and its shareholders. I greatly appreciate all of the work Phil has done as lead director and I look forward to working with Steve in his new role.”

“It has been an honor to serve as lead director for the past three years, and I look forward to continuing to serve on the board and working with John, Steve and the other board members,” said Quigley. “With its strong capital base, diversified business model and steadfast focus on its vision to help customers succeed financially, Wells Fargo is well positioned for future success as the financial services environment continues to evolve. As I get closer to retirement, I am pleased to help with a smooth transition as Steve assumes this important role.”

Sanger previously served as chairman, CEO and director of General Mills, Minneapolis, MN, where he utilized his corporate strategy, sales, and marketing skills in leading one of the world’s largest food companies and developing some of its best-known consumer brands. He has extensive corporate governance and executive compensation experience and serves on the governance and audit committees of Pfizer and on the governance and compensation committees of Target Corporation. Sanger has served on Wells Fargo’s Human Resources Committee for over eight years and as chair of the committee for the past five years, and also is a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee and Risk Committee. Effective January 1, 2012, Sanger succeeded Quigley as chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee and will remain a member of the Human Resources Committee, which will now be chaired by Lloyd Dean. Quigley continues to serve on the governance and audit committees and joined the credit committee.

Wells Fargo implemented the lead director position in 2009 as part of its commitment to strong independent leadership on the board. The lead director works closely with the chairman, and the responsibilities of lead director include approving board meeting agendas and schedules, calling special meetings or executive sessions of the board and calling and presiding at executive sessions or meetings of the independent directors, serving as a liaison between the independent directors and the chairman, working with committee chairs to ensure coordinated coverage of board responsibilities, facilitating communication between the board and senior management, and being available for consultation and direct communication with major stockholders.