Banco Santander appoints José Antonio Álvarez as CEO

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Banco Santander SA announced significant reshuffles at top management levels with the replacement of its chief executive with its finance chief and made several changes to its board of directors.

José Antonio Álvarez (pictured)  will take on the role of CEO, replacing Javier Marín.

This marks the first major leadership shake-up since Ana Botín (pictured) took over the eurozone’s largest bank following her father’s death.

The board of Banco Santander also announced the appointment of three new independent directors to fill the vacancies left by the death of Emilio Botín and the resignation of Fernando de Asúa and Abel Matutes.

José Antonio Álvarez, prior to his appointment as CEO, served 10 highly successful years as Chief Financial Officer at Banco Santander. His tenure has received wide external recognition for best industry practices specifically in the areas of Investor Relations and transparency

José García Cantera will assume the responsibilities of Banco Santander CFO.

Mr. García Cantera was a top-ranked bank analyst at Citi before serving as CEO of Banesto, a leading bank in efficiency, balance sheet strength and customer satisfaction that was integrated with Santander Spain in 2013.

Replacing Mr. Cantera as the global head of Santander Global Banking and Markets (SGBM) will be Jacques Ripoll, previously the head of SGBM in Santander UK.

These appointments will take effect from 1 January 2015 and are subject to regulatory approvals, the bank said.

Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Javier Marín, for his great work for Banco Santander for 23 years and especially for his service as CEO.  During his two years in this role, he has led the commercial transformation of our bank, bringing innovative management to lead our customer segmentation and service improvement initiatives, while also improving our profitability and efficiency”.

“We would also like to acknowledge the contributions to our Board of Fernando de Asúa and Abel Matutes, whose work has been crucial to our success”.

“The financial services industry today faces many important challenges. But Banco Santander is uniquely well-positioned to succeed, thanks to our strong local retail and commercial banking presence in 10 European and American markets.  Our leadership team’s vision is to create a bank that is “Simple, Personal and Fair” for our teams, our customers, our shareholders and communities,” Ana Botin said.


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