John Stumpf, chairman, president and CEO of Wells Fargo, No. 40 on The 2011 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, has faced his share of challenges. The company’s successful merger with Wachovia combined two large diversity leaders and is a model for other large corporate mergers. But the economic crisis of the past three years, and Wells’ involvement with the subprime crisis, has required an even deeper reliance on diversity to engage employees and reach customers.

Stumpf met one-on-one with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti in the bank’s San Francisco headquarters to explore these issues and his personal reasons for valuing diversity.

Few of John Stumpf’s quotes:

“We’ve been in this business a long time. We are the nation’s largest home lender to persons of color.”

“Yes, and we agreed to a settlement. This was not systemic. It was not pervasive. It was episodic, but we feel badly about that and we’re going to make it right.”

“In many cases, our bankers listen to dreams.”

“It makes no sense. If you think it’s important, you had better manage it and you had better measure it. You had better hold people accountable.”

“I believe I’ve worked for three Wells Fargos. The first one was called NorWest. It was in Minneapolis. People confused us with an airline. Thirteen years ago, I started working for the second Wells Fargo. Now I’m working for the third Wells Fargo. It’s the Wells Fargo plus Wachovia.”

Watch DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti interviewing John Stumpf in the video embedded below: