Swift has promoted its Americas and UK chief executive Javier Pérez-Tasso to CEO, replacing Gottfried Leibbrandt, who is stepping down after seven years at the helm of the bank-backed international payments network.
Pérez-Tasso will take over on 1 July after winning out an internal and external search carried out by the board's human resources committee with advice from a professional search firm. Leibbrandt announced his upcoming departure in December.
A Swift veteran, he joined the organisation in 1995, rising to chief executive, Americas and UK region in 2015. He also served as an executive sponsor of the Swift Customer Security Programme, which was launched in the wake of the 2016 Bangladesh hack.
He takes up the top job at a time of intense change in the technology landscape. Swift is facing existential threats on a number of fronts, with rival blockchain-based networks from likes of Ripple, IBM and even Visa promising a new era of low cost real-time cross-border payments, bypassing the traditional correspondent banking routes.
Says Pérez-Tasso: "I thank the SWIFT Board for its trust and feel privileged to lead SWIFT and serve its customers as CEO. 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."