Swift is promoting its current Americas and UK chief executive Javier Pérez-Tasso to the post of CEO. He will succeed Gottfried Leibbrandt, who is stepping down after seven years as chief of the bank-backed financial messaging and international payments network.
Leibbrandt announced his departure plans last December. Pérez-Tasso will take over as CEO on 1 July after winning out an internal and external search conducted by Swift’s human resources committee with advice from a professional search firm.
“I am delighted to announce Javier’s appointment with the full endorsement of the board,” announced Swift chairman Yawar Shah. “Javier‘s track record of impressive leadership, coupled with his in-depth understanding of the company and its business, means that he is expertly positioned for this new role.”
“I thank the Swift board for its trust and feel privileged to lead Swift and serve its customers as CEO,” said Pérez-Tasso. “I am fortunate to start this mandate building on Gottfried’s strong legacy, and I look forward to maintaining our focus on operational excellence as well as to accelerating Swift’s transformation during a period of unprecedented change and opportunity for the community.”
A Swift veteran
Pérez-Tasso was a natural choice for Swift, having joined the organisation in 1995. He served as chief marketing officer before being appointed to his current position in September 2015. In this position, Swift says Pérez-Tasso significantly deepened Swift's engagement model with global transaction banks and successfully delivered business development results in high-growth markets.
He also served as an executive sponsor of the Swift customer security programme, which was launched following the $81 million heist of the Bangladesh central bank in February 2016 in which security hackers employed Swift credentials.
Pérez-Tasso takes up the top job at a time of intense change in the technology landscape. Swift faces increasing competition on several fronts, with rival blockchain-based networks launched by Ripple, IBM and even Visa promising a new era of low-cost real-time cross-border payments, bypassing the traditional correspondent banking routes.
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