Payments network Swift has promoted its Americas and UK chief executive Javier Pérez-Tasso to the post of CEO, effective July 1. He replaces Gottfried Leibbrandt, who announced his decision to step down in December 2018 after seven years in the role.

Swift says in a statement that it selected Pérez-Tasso for the top position after carrying out an extensive internal and external executive search, advised by an external firm.

Pérez-Tasso joined Swift in 1995 and held a number of roles before being named chief marketing officer in 2012. He was responsible for developing the SWIFT2020 strategy, which led to the co-operative’s renewed focus on cross-border payments, expansion into financial crime compliance and deeper presence in the market infrastructures area, including its entry into instant payments. In September 2015, he was appointed chief executive of the Americas and UK, a role he has held ever since.

Commenting on his appointment, Pérez-Tasso says: “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.”

Pérez-Tasso will be based out of Swift’s headquarters in Belgium.