The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf is responsible for his company's actions. He is well rewarded for his leadership position and obviously allowed the misuse of customer information. The customers are suing Wells Fargo for the fraudulent accounts that were set up. Employees have been fired but they were responding to high pressure to achieve sales results. The bank mangement and leadership needs to be accountable.
Indeed, blaming employees for not doing their job is not an acceptable action. It's understandable that Wells Fargo wants to paint all of this as if it were an exception to the standard operating procedures throughout its branch network. I trust that's what any respectable PR firm would advise its typical clients to do. But Wells Fargo isn't a typical bank. It's an extraordinary one, and, as such, should handle this in an extraordinary way, by embracing transparency.
Yes, he should be held responsible for fraud because he created the type of atmosphere that showed it was okay to create false bank accounts, even at the expense of their customers. It is his responsibility to go down with the sinking ship and to attempt to make it better, but he failed.
Yes, the CEO should be held responsible. As the head of the bank, his job is to oversee everything that's happening in there. He's the one who decides the bank's sales tactics. To let the fake accounts scandal happen, the CEO must have closed one eye, hoping the authority wouldn't notice and that his bank could gain illegal profits. He should be able to answer and justify his and his inferiors' actions in front of court.