Schwab Names Bettinger President, Seen As  Potential Heir to Top Post

Charles Schwab on Wednesday said it named Walt Bettinger II, who heads its investor services unit, as president and chief operating officer, making him a potential successor to the discount brokerage's namesake founder and CEO.

His promotion comes after Chief Financial Officer Christopher Dodds said in January he planned to retire. Dodds had been seen as a potential successor for Charles Schwab, 69, also the company's chairman.

Schwab has said he was committed to staying CEO for the foreseeable future.

Still, Bettinger's promotion "creates a second in command," said spokesman Greg Gable, and helps fill the vacuum created by Dodds' planned departure.

Bettinger, 46, "does take on some of the responsibilities that Dodds had across the entire businesses," Gable said.

Bettinger will report to Schwab, as will its finance, corporate oversight, human resources and marketing functions.

Bettinger will oversee the company's operating businesses, including its investor services, institutional and corporate and retirement, as well as mutual funds, banking technology and operations.