R. Martin Chávez to join the board of Banco Santander as independent director, subject to regulatory approval.
Sebastian Gunningham will be appointed chairman of Santander Consumer Finance and vice chairman of Openbank, subject to regulatory approval, and become a senior advisor to the Santander group chairman on technology.
Francisco D’Souza to be lead strategic advisor to the group for the development of Santander Global Platform.
Madrid, 30 June 2020.
Santander announces today the appointment of three leading technologists to support its strategy and digital transformation.
Firstly, the appointments committee of Banco Santander, S.A. has proposed R. Martin Chávez as a new independent director. Mr Chávez will replace Esther Giménez-Salinas who will be stepping down having served on the board for eight years.
Mr Chávez, a US citizen, brings extensive experience in the financial sector having worked for 20 years at Goldman Sachs, including as a partner since 2006, and a member of the management committee since 2012, until his retirement at the end of 2019. He began his career as a software engineer and founded a number of technology companies in Silicon Valley and New York, adding further to the board’s digital expertise.
He will also join the remuneration committee; risk supervision, regulation and compliance committee; and innovation and technology committee, with his appointment subject to the usual regulatory approvals. It is expected that his appointment will be submitted for approval at the general shareholders meeting that will likely take place in October 2020.
Furthermore, Sebastian Gunningham will be appointed chairman of Santander Consumer Finance and vice chairman of Openbank, subject to regulatory approval, and become a senior advisor to the Santander group chairman on technology.
Mr Gunningham, a US citizen, has held a number of senior leadership roles with Amazon as senior vice president, being responsible for the Amazon Marketplace and multiple other technology groups, including overseeing Amazon’s global payments services. During his career, he has also worked at Apple, First Data, Oracle and WeWork. Mr Gunningham will succeed Antonio Escámez as chairman of Santander Consumer Finance and vice chairman of Openbank. Mr Escámez will remain a member of both boards.
And finally, Francisco D’Souza will strengthen his collaboration with the group, becoming the group strategic advisor for the development of Santander Global Platform (SGP), assisting the board in setting up and implementing the strategy and business models of all the existing and new ventures being developed within SGP. Mr D’Souza, a US citizen, has been a member of Santander's International Advisory Board since 2016 and is co-founder of Cognizant, a leading professional services company. During his tenure as CEO of Cognizant, he oversaw a period of sustained growth, transformation, innovation and success, resulting in a ten-fold increase in revenues. And in 2015 and 2017, he was recognised in Fortune Magazine’s “Businessperson of the Year” list.
Ana Botín, Banco Santander’s group executive chairman, said: “Marty, Sebastian and Frank bring extensive experience and will add significant value to the group as we develop and execute our digital transformation. They have each had outstanding careers and I look forward to working together as we progress in developing our strategy to be the best open financial services platform. On behalf of the board, I would also like to thank Esther Giménez-Salinas and Antonio Escámez for the significant contributions they have made to the group. They have both helped develop and grow our business over the last years and their insight and experience have been invaluable.”