A top Wells Fargo techie in charge of engineering its bleeding-edge banking platform is leaving for rival IBM by the end of the month, the New York Post has reportedly learned.
Jesse Lund, who leads the bank’s San Francisco–based Innovation Lab, is leaving on Jan. 31, Ann Wasik, a bank spokeswoman, has confirmed, according to the Post’s report.
Losing Lund — the man in charge of the bank’s WFC, -1.49% “blockchain” push, the valuable but largely untested technology behind Bitcoin — is the latest blow for the bank, whose reputation was tarnished by last year’s fake-accounts scandal.
IBM IBM, +0.28% has been one of the leading nonbank companies in developing blockchain, which banks would like to control by building their own versions. The technology would make transferring payments faster, cheaper and safer, and is seen as the transaction system of the future.
Other banks, like Barclays, have massive innovation labs in New York to create their own system. Goldman Sachs GS, +0.20% and Bank of America BAC, -0.35% also have been quietly patenting blockchain ideas.
Blockchain shares a massive database of transactions among users—similar to balancing a checkbook. Banks are hoping that blockchain can cut billions of dollars in costs over the next 10 years.
According to an IBM spokeswoman, Lund will work with IBM Blockchain and Hyperledger. Execs involved include IBM Chief Technology Officer Chris Ferris and Blythe Masters, the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings and a former top J.P. Morgan Chase executive.