She lived up to her reputation until she died yesterday afternoon, from pancreatic cancer, at age 62.
Rising from teller to CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Dial went on to head UK retail banking at Lloyds TSB. In 2008, Citigroup (C) CEO Vikram Pandit lured her from London to be CEO of North American consumer banking. At Citi, Dial earned a spot, No. 47, on the Fortune Most Powerful Women list.
Dial lasted two years at Citi, amidst a maelstrom of management changes. In January 2010, she stepped down and accepted a senior adviser role.
Two weeks later, her medical nightmare began.
"Until then, she thought she was 100% healthy," recalls her husband, Brian Burry, who called last week from Dial's bedside at a hospice facility in Miami.
Burry told me that Dial, two years ago, went to her doctor in Manhattan for what she thought was a stomach flu. A visit to a gastroenterologist led to the discovery of a pancreatic tumor. Surgery, months of infections, and pneumonia followed. And due to these complications, her chemotherapy was delayed.
"This is the insidious nature of the disease," says Burry.
During their 32-year marriage, Dial pushed herself constantly, as she did in business. She and Burry traveled to more than 100 countries. She hot-air ballooned in Burma. She photographed pelagic birds, penguins, seals and whales in Antarctica. She tracked polar bears in Canada and tigers in India.
"What she did not do was squander time," her sister, Donna, wrote in Dial's obituary.
Through rigorous treatment, bouts of nausea, and brief remission of her cancer, Dial stayed positive, says Frontier Communications (FTR) CEO Maggie Wilderotter, who knew Dial for 30 years.
Lynn Carter, known as Lynn Pike when she headed Capital One (COF) Bank, was another close friend. Pike flew to Miami once a month to see Dial.
She recalls her January visit: "Terri was at home and feeling pretty good, and it was 10 days more to make it to the two-year anniversary of her diagnosis." That day, Dial remembered how pessimistic her doctors seemed to be early on. Proudly, Dial looked at Pike and said: "Well, at least I beat the odds."
Linda Robinson is leaving the PR firm Robinson Lerer Montgomery to join BlackRock.
Linda Robinson sounded like Oprah in her stunning announcement that she's leaving her namesake PR firm, Robinson Lerer Montgomery, to join BlackRock. "The last 25 years have been an amazing journey and I'm excited for the next chapter in my life," she wrote in a Monday afternoon email that bounced around Manhattan and across corporate America's upper echelons.
Robinson's MOREPatricia Sellers - May 18, 2011 12:22 PM ET
By Patricia Sellers
When I started my career at Fortune in 1984, corporate America was a land of white men. As I say in my talks about women and power, bosses back then were white men without facial hair.
We've come a long way—just look at Fortune's Most Powerful Women list.
But a new report on Fortune 500 board composition, released by the Alliance for Board Diversity this morning, should make diversity champions weep.
The MOREPatricia Sellers - May 2, 2011 7:37 AM ET
Two surprising additions to the top 10 of the new Fortune 500, out today: Bank of America (BAC) at No. 5 and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) at No. 9.
That's evidence that the financial crisis has made the big banks bigger--and amidst consolidation, the survivors mightier. Goldman Sachs (GS), No. 39 measured by revenues, ranks sixth on the 500 in terms of profitability. Last year, Goldman earned a stunning $13.4 billion on MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 15, 2010 12:35 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
So, retail sales are up. Unemployment is down. And the Dow is near 11,000.
That doesn't mean that all is right with the world.
So says Meredith Whitney.
The analyst who brought down the bank stocks in 2007--by shining the light on their capital shortfalls--came by Fortune's offices Wednesday afternoon to explain why she's still a bear. I asked her: Will unemployment, now at 9.7%, likely go back up? "I think MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 8, 2010 2:46 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Terri Dial, Citigroup's (C) CEO of consumer banking for North America, is out.
It's hardly a surprise at a company where the drama (to mimic Citi ads) never sleeps.
But beyond the everlasting turmoil at Citi--which is still under the thumb of the government, with a stock selling below $4--there is the fact that Dial never found her power base at the bank. Recruited by CEO Vikram Pandit from Lloyds MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 11, 2010 9:50 AM ET
Are the populists taking over the world?
One rabble-rouser, Arianna Huffington, has concocted a remarkable stunt, which she calls the Move Your Money Project, to rally consumers to transfer their deposits from big banks to small community banks across the U.S. Alas, there's no run yet on Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), or Wells Fargo (WFC). But the Move your Money campaign--which the blog queen dreamed up MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 8, 2010 12:47 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Ted Dimon Sr. started a new job yesterday.
Not just any job. Formerly a broker at Merrill Lynch, Dimon joined the brokerage unit of JPMorgan Chase (JPM). His son happens to be CEO of the parent company.
Word is, Jamie Dimon steered clear of the deal to hire his 78-year-old dad, who arrived with five other Merrill brokers in tow. According to people close to father and son, Ted MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 10, 2009 12:10 PM ET
I know lots of executives in the banking industry, but I had never heard of Cindy Armine. Until, that is, a couple of months ago when I had lunch with Armine, who is the chief compliance officer at Citigroup (C). Several things blew me away: her humble beginnings (she didn't go to college), her amazing trajectory (from clerk to top cop), her candor about her flaws as a manager--and MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 21, 2009 2:17 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
A hot job offer dangles before you. How do you know if it's right? Sometimes you feel it in your gut. And sometimes you get a big, bloody warning sign. Like Sallie Krawcheck did before she opted to join Bank of America (BAC).
Krawcheck, the former Citigroup (C) star who joined BofA in August to head its Global Wealth and Investment Management unit, told a story last evening in MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 8, 2009 2:11 PM ET
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