Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Spain's second-biggest bank, replaced its chief financial officer of 12 years as part of a shake-up of its structure that includes creating a new digital banking unit.

Manuel Gonzalez Cid will leave his post as CFO to become a strategic adviser to Chairman Francisco Gonzalez. He will be replaced by Jaime Saenz de Tejada, the former Spain and Portugal director, who takes over as head of strategy and finance, the Bilbao, Spain-based bank said in a statement today. Carlos Torres Vila, a former CFO of power company Endesa SA who joined the bank in 2008, will head the new Digital Banking unit, the lender said.

Gonzalez has repeatedly said he wants to use technology to make the bank more efficient and increases its appeal to clients, fending off competitors he predicts will emerge from the world of electronic commerce. In a speech to shareholders this month he likened the emergence of new digital companies to the so-called Cambrian Explosion about 540 million years ago when life forms on earth multiplied and evolved rapidly.

In other changes made today, Gonzalez created a new division including South America and global retail banking business lines under Ignacio Deschamps. Cristina de Parias joins the executive committee as head of Spain and Portugal.