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SWIFT head leaves quickly: Leibbrandt succeeds Campos as CEO

The chief executive officer (CEO) of SWIFT, Lázaro Campos, is to leave the organisation on 30 June after notifying the board of his intention to leave after 25 years with interbank messaging organisation, the last five as its head after he replaced the long-serving Leonard Schrank.

The board of the bank-owned SWIFT organisation has nominated Gottfried Leibbrandt, currently the head of marketing, to replace Campos as CEO effective from 1 July. Prior to joining SWIFT, Leibbrandt was previously a partner at McKinsey & Company. He holds a MBA from Stanford and a PhD from Maastricht. “The company has never been in better shape,” said Leibbrandt while stressing how proud he was and “privileged to be able to lead SWIFT forward at a time of great opportunity”.

Campos informed the board that he wished, “to pursue opportunities outside SWIFT” towards the end of March, triggering the search for a replacement. Under his leadership, SWIFT embarked on an ambitious growth and transformational strategy entitled SWIFT2015, which was intended to improve efficiency, almost doubling volumes while simultaneously reducing costs by 30% due to economies-of-scale savings and technology investments. Prices, always a bone of contention with the bank users who own SWIFT and rely it for interbank payments and securities messaging, fell by 50% during his tenure.

"SWIFT is an extraordinary company with great people and I have enjoyed my years here immensely. I am proud of what SWIFT means to the industry and what we have achieved during my tenure as CEO,” said the 49-year-old Campos. “But after 25 years with one organisation, it is the right time for me to move on and make an impact elsewhere."

Commenting on the changes at the top SWIFT’s Chairman Yawar Shah, said he thanked Campos for making SWIFT a stronger, nimbler, and more customer-centric company, before stressing that he thankful SWIFT has a strong management team, which has enabled the board to appoint an internal candidate. “Leibbrandt has been part of the SWIFT executive team for five years and he is very well qualified to take over the baton,” he said. “I am confident he will ensure SWIFT will continue to improve on its tradition of excellence and innovation in support of the global financial community.”