BBVA Compass is replacing CEO Manolo Sanchez, who has led the charge for digital innovation at the bank during his eight years at the helm, with an executive from the Spanish parent company's Turkish franchise.

Onur Genc will take over from Sanchez in the first quarter of 2017, the $85 billion-asset BBVA Compass said Wednesday. Sanchez, a 25-year company veteran, will become the Birmingham, Ala., lender's nonexecutive chairman.

"BBVA Compass is entering a new phase of growth after having completed integration of several banks and improved its core technology systems," a spokesperson said. "We are confident that the combined expertise of Genç and Sanchez will build on the bank's strong foundation and continue to advance its efforts around digital transformation."

On Sanchez's watch, BBVA Compass has been a leader in tech innovation. The bank implemented a real-time core banking system (Accenture's Alnova). It acquired the "neobank" Simple; created a fintech venture capital arm that was later spun off called Propel; and partnered with the real-time payments provider Dwolla, which made it one of the first banks to offer fast payments to business customers. This year, BBVA Compass partnered with a robo-adviser called FutureAdvisor. It's building a marketplace to offer APIs to others for the purpose of creating innovative products and services.

Genç is currently deputy CEO of Garanti Bank, a $98.6 billion-asset bank based in Istanbul. BBVA Group, based in Bilbao, Spain, is Garanti's largest shareholder, with a 39.9% stake. He joined Garanti in 2012 and was named deputy CEO in 2015.

Before joining Garanti, Genç was a senior partner and Turkey office manager at McKinsey in Canada. He started his career in 1997 as a financial controller for American Airlines in Dallas.