Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) announced the appointment of Jose Antonio Alvarez as chief executive officer. He will replace Javier Marin. The bank did not provide any reason regarding Marin’s departure as CEO.

The bank also named three new independent directors including a new lead independent director. The appointments reflect the first major leadership shake-up since Ana Patricia Botin took over as executive chairman of Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN).

Jose Antonio Alvarez Banco Santander

In a statement, Botin said, “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”.

Alvarez served as CFO of Banco Santander for 10 years

Alvarez served as chief financial officer of Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) for ten years prior to his appointment as CEO. The bank emphasized that he received external recognitions for best industry practices in the field of investor relations and transparency during his tenure as CFO.

Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) said Jose Garcia Cantera will assume the role of Alvarez as CFO. The bank emphasized that Cantera  was a top-ranked bank analysts at Citi prior to his position as CEO of Banesto, a leading bank in efficiency, balance sheet strength and customer services satisfaction that became part of Santander Spain last year.

Jacques Ripoll, the former head of SGBM, Santander UK will take over the position of Cantera as the global head of Santander Global Banking and Markets (SGBM).

Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) NYSE:SAN) appointed Bruce Carnegie-Brown as first vice chairman and lead independent director. The bank also named Sol Daurella and Carlos Fernandez as independent directors. Rodrigo Echenique, the current non-executive board member of the board will serve as vice chairman.

The bank explained that the three new independent directors will take over the responsibilities left by the death of Emilio Botin and the resignations of Fernando de Asúa and Abel Matutes.

“Simple, fair and personal”

Botin said the financial services is facing critical challenges, but she is confident that Banco Santander, S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:SAN) is well-positioned to succeed given its strong local and commercial banking presence in ten 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,” said Botin.

The bank said the appointments will be effective on January 1, 2015 and are subject to regulatory approvals.