Business & Real Estate

Wells Fargo exec Petrilla is new head of state’s California-China trade office

Wells Fargo executive Ken Petrilla has been named the new executive director of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai.

He comes to the key trade post from heading the China Desk for Wells Fargo.

His hiring was announced Thursday by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Bay Area Council. His salary isn’t public, since it’s paid by the Bay Area Council, a private non-profit organization supported by businesses.

“The hiring of Ken Petrilla, one of the most experienced international banking executives in California, shows how serious California is about its trade relationship with China,” Mike Rossi, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s senior jobs adviser, said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Petrilla succeeds Diane Long, who was hired in October last year. In an email, Bay Area Council spokesperson Rufus Jeffris said: “Diane built a great foundation for the CTO. But she wanted to pursue other interests/opportunities.”

The trade and investment office was established in 2013 to serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China, and to assist Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California. Last year, California exported $24.2 billion to mainland China and Hong Kong, as the combined region became the state’s number one export market, according to state officials.

Petrilla has held multiple positions at Wells Fargo, including responsibilities for all bank business and activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.