SWIFT announced Wednesday (Dec. 12) that the company's Chief Executive Officer Gottfried Leibbrandt has informed the board that he plans to leave the company at the end of June.
In a press release, SWIFT noted that Leibbrandt has been in his job for seven years and played an important role in ensuring SWIFT remained on sound financial footing, improved upon SWIFT's risk and security functions and oversaw the overhaul of technology at the company. He is also credited with modernizing payments.
“Gottfried’s tenure has been remarkable,” SWIFT Chairman Yawar Shah said in the press release announcing the CEO's plans. “During his time as CEO, the industry has faced unprecedented change and challenges, but under his leadership, SWIFT has transformed itself to become a much stronger, more modern and agile organisation that is now driving change across the industry.”
Under Leibbrandt's lead, SWIFT was able to successfully launch its SWIFT gpi payments service, enabling transactions to be tracked and laying the groundwork for new payment services. He is also credited with creating a strong management team at SWIFT and was given accolades for leading the company's response to cyber attacks on SWIFT customers which began in 2016 with the hack of Bangladesh Bank. The executive was credited with coming up with and implementing SWIFT's Customer Security Programme, which has become an industry standard. Stephan Zimmermann, deputy chairman and chair of the board's human resources committee, said in the same press release that Leibbrandt's success in building a strong management team and the six-month notice he provided will enable SWIFT to ensure an “orderly succession” and “undertake a rigorous search process which will look both inside and outside the organisation.”
Leibbrandt said in the press release that he is most proud of SWIFT gpi and how the company and community stepped up to deliver its Customer Security Programme. “Together gpi and CSP reflect a culture at SWIFT of excellence and innovation, relentlessly focused on protecting and empowering our community of members. Today SWIFT has a clear mission, mandate and purpose and is on firm footing for the future,” Leibbrandt said. “My time at SWIFT has been great from start to finish, and I will miss it — but with the company in great shape and a solid management team in place, the seven year mark feels the right point at which to hand over the reins to a new leader.”