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Financial messaging services provider SWIFT has appointed a new chief technology officer to replace the outgoing CIO Mike Fish, part of plans to split IT and operations functions at the firm.

The reorganisation follows the announcement of Fish’s retirement in June, after 15 years at the company. He is now set to leave SWIFT later this month, being replaced by CTO Craig Young and chief operating officer Marcel Bronmans. Both will report directly to CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt, with the creation of separate technology and operations divisions aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness of each function.

Young was previously CIO and senior vice president at Verizon, where he spent 20 years, with responsibilities including managing teams of up to 3,000 staff across different geographic locations.

Bronmans was most recently chief risk officer at SWIFT, but has previously served as director of technology operations, ensuring service availability for the wider financial community.

"Together with the Board's Human Resources Committee we conducted a thorough internal and external search process and I have every confidence that Marcel and Craig will successfully lead the functions building on our proven record," said CEO Leibbrandt. 

Fish joined SWIFT in 1999 from US telecoms company Ameritech, where he held a number of senior management roles in IT. He was appointed CIO at SWIFT in July 2006.

In his CIO role, he was responsible for overseeing transformation projects such as the SWIFTNet messaging platform migration and the construction and go-live of the organisation’s new operating centre in Switzerland.

He also led the development and launch of new commercial services, such as SWIFT’s cloud-based Lite2 connectivity option, the sanctions screening service and the TARGET2-Securities European securities settlement engine project.

Leibbrandt said that he was “extremely grateful” for Fish’s contribution to SWIFT, helping steer the company through “a period of intense change, meeting a number of technological challenges”.