Wachovia Financial Chief Wurtz Plans to Leave

Wachovia, which on Tuesday posted a record $8.86 billion second-quarter loss, said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Wurtz plans to leave the fourth-largest U.S. bank after a successor is named.

A Wachovia branch bank.
Chuck Burton
A Wachovia branch bank.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said it will begin an immediate search for a replacement, according to a statement released on Thursday.

Wurtz, 46, joined Wachovia in 1994, and was named CFO in January 2006. He had previously been treasurer and head of treasury and planning.

It was not immediately clear why Wurtz is leaving, or what his future plans are. Wachovia did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Wachovia announced Wurtz's departure 15 days after it named former U.S. Treasury undersecretary Robert Steel as chief executive.

Steel replaced Ken Thompson, whom Wachovia ousted in early June after a series of financial and legal setbacks, including a poorly-timed, $24.2 billion purchase in 2006 of California mortgage specialist Golden West Financial.

In a statement about Wurtz, Steel said, "Tom has been a professional partner and colleague and we are grateful for all he has done for the company.''

Shares of Wachovia closed Thursday down $1.96, or 11.1 percent, at $15.69 on the New York Stock Exchange, as financial stocks suffered broad declines. The bank's shares have fallen 58.7 percent this year.

Wachovia announced Wurtz's departure after markets closed.