Print Page Close Window

Washington Mutual Names Head of Multicultural & Diversity Strategy

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) has named Fernando Hernandez as senior vice president, Multicultural & Diversity Strategy. In this role, Hernandez is responsible for overseeing a comprehensive strategy that further embraces diversity within Washington Mutual and expands on the company's business strategies to address the growing ethnic populations across the United States. He will report to Reza Aghamirzadeh, division executive of Washington Mutual's Community and External Affairs Division.

"We are proud of our past accomplishments in the multicultural markets arena, both from a market outreach and employee diversity standpoint," said Aghamirzadeh. "We also realize there's more to be done. Moving forward, Fernando's appointment provides a great opportunity to better leverage synergies among our different diversity outreach areas."

Hernandez joins Washington Mutual from AT&T, where he developed and led numerous diversity programs during his 14-year tenure there. As AT&T's executive director of supplier diversity, he developed internal and external strategies, was the company's principal contact with its diverse constituency groups and drove corporate diversity initiatives with AT&T's Public Relations, Human Resources and Government Affairs.

Hernandez was named one of the nation's top 50 Influential Minorities in Business in 2004 by the Minority Business and Professionals Network.

Washington Mutual has a solid reputation for celebrating diversity. In 2005, the company was ranked among Hispanic magazine's "Corporate 100: Best Companies for Hispanics" and "Top 50 Vendor Programs for Latinos;" Hispanic Business magazine's "Top Companies for Diversity;" Family Digest's "Best Companies for African Americans;" Diversity Inc.'s "Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity;" and one of "35 Great Places to Work for African-American Women" by Essence. In 2004, the company was ranked among FORTUNE's "50 Best Companies for Minorities."

Washington Mutual has also partnered with Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Johnson Development Corporation (JDC) to increase homeownership in the nation's underserved communities. Since 2003, Washington Mutual and JDC have opened 26 home loan centers together in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, Miami and Newark, N.J. In just two years, Washington Mutual has provided more than $2 billion in home loans to inner-city residents. It also has introduced Solid Start(TM), a free, four-part financial education and credit building program to help people in underserved communities build wealth, achieve their financial goals and realize the dream of home ownership.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and commercial clients. At June 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $323.53 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at


    CONTACT: Washington Mutual
             Lotus Lou, 206-377-8178

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.