Bank CEO interrupted by jeering protesters

Wells Fargo Bank CEO John Stumpf got an earful while speaking at NC State University Wednesday.

December 2, 2011 8:14:48 PM PST
Wells Fargo Bank CEO John Stumpf got an earful while speaking at NC State University Wednesday.

He was interrupted by jeering protesters - a majority from the Occupy Raleigh movement - inside Nelson Hall.

Stumpf was on campus speaking to students and hundreds of others about leadership, but protesters said NC State chose the wrong person.

The protest only lasted a few minutes. Police escorted out about 25 people, before the event - which was presented by NC State's College of Management - continued.

"He respects, as we all do, the ability and the right of individuals to have a voice, but at the end of the day, this is ... these people were here to hear a lecture and message, to hear about a company," College of Management Dean Ira Weiss said.

Outside the event, protesters lined Hillsborough Street saying that the company was responsible for predatory foreclosure practices, and misusing bailout money.

"We're taught about ethics, we're taught about leadership, and then we're shown this," protester Katina Gad said. "This is what gets brought to us to speak. Stumpf needs to know that he's not welcome at NC State."

Protesters said it doesn't end there. They said they are holding the executives of big corporations accountable.

"When they show up to give their honorary speeches, to get their degrees, do their commencement addresses, that we'll be there to challenge them and to challenge their excuses for what happened over the last five years," protester Brian Cook said.

There was a notable police presence at Wednesday's event, partly because similar situations have happened to Stumpf while speak at other universities.

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