SWIFT's CEO Campos Makes Exit
Lazaro Campos will step down as chief executive officer of messaging network SWIFT after five years at the helm making way for the current marketing head Gottfried Leibbrandt to take over the helm.
A 25-year veteran of SWIFT, Campos became CEO in 2007, replacing U.S. born Lenny Schrank. Lazaro's departure comes midway through a five year business plan designed in 2010 following a major cost-cutting initiative designed with the help of consultancy McKinsey. In a statement announcing Campos' pending departure, SWIFT says that the five year plan coined SWIFT 2015 has reduced costs by 30 percent; prices by 50 percent and doubled messaging volume.
However, Campos' tenure has been marred recently by well-publicized events such as the unprecedented move of cutting off Iranian banks from the network in response to orders from the European Union. There had previously been some talk late last year that SWIFT could face sanctions from the US if it did not do so but it was unclear what those sanctions would be and whether the US had any legal authority over the matter. Next up: the decision of the Financial Stability Board to abandon plans for a global registration authority for new legal entity identifiers. The decision was a clear blow to SWIFT's ambitions to play a central role in the rollout of the new identification standard -- a role it was given by the International Organization for Standardization. SWIFT says it is still working with Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. on the LEI initiative but it is unclear what capacity it will ultimately take.
Leibbrandt was a former partner at McKinsey before joining SWIFT in 2005. SWIFT's board has recommended he replace Campos as CEO effective July 1. SWIFT says that Campos informed the board of his decision in March, allowing time for an orderly succession to take place. In the statement, Yahar Shah briefly praised Campos and called Leibbrandt "well-qualified" to take over his job.
Written by Chris Kentouris, Editor-in-chief (Chris can be contacted through Chris.Kentouris@hotmail.com)