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Wells Fargo announces Elizabeth Duke will take Stephen Sanger's place as independent board chair

Wells Fargo announced a board shakeup Tuesday, including the coming retirement of three directors, in a restructuring effort following the bank's consumer sales scandal.

Elizabeth, or "Betsy," Duke will take Stephen Sanger's position as independent chair effective Jan. 1, 2018, according to the bank's announcement.

Cynthia H. Milligan and Susan G. Swenson, who both joined the board in the 1990s, will retire at the end of the year "to help facilitate Board refreshment and provide for an appropriate transition of committee membership," the release said.

"The changes announced today reflect a thoughtful and deliberate process by the Board that was informed by the company's engagement with shareholders and other stakeholders, as well as the Board's annual self-evaluation that was conducted after the 2017 Annual Meeting and prior to its typical year-end timing," Sanger said in a statement.

The bank also said Juan Pujadas, a retired principal of PricewaterhouseCoopers, will join the board as a new independent director.

As a result of the changes, the board will have 13 members. The board plans to add one to three more directors over the long term.

The bank also announced Enrique Hernandez, Jr. will take over as chair of the risk committee, whose oversight was expanded to include Wells Fargo's new Conduct Management Office.

The board also announced changes to the leadership of its governance and nominating committee, corporate responsibility committee, and audit and examination committee.

Duke became a director in 2015, according to the bank's proxy statement earlier this year. She is a former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

"Betsy's regulatory expertise has been invaluable to Wells Fargo, and I know that the combination of her banking and risk management experience will continue to serve the Board and the company well in her new role as Chair," Timothy Sloan, CEO and president, said in the statement.

Sloan took over the company in October 2016 after the bank paid $185 million in penalties following the revelation that since 2011, workers trying to meet aggressive sales goals had opened about 2 million consumer deposit and credit card accounts without customers' authorization. The bank has since abandoned those sales goals after clearing out top managers deemed responsible for the problems.

Similar issues have arisen in the last few months for the bank, which was once considered the most admired of America's financial giants.

In late July, news broke that hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers were charged for auto insurance they did not need. The bank said on July 27 it plans to give about 570,000 customers a total $80 million for damages starting in August 2017.

WATCH: Wells Fargo announces changes to board of directors