Spain's Banco Santander abruptly replaced the chief executive of its U.S. operations Tuesday.

Jorge Moran, who had led Santander Holdings USA since December 2010, stepped down "to pursue other professional interests," the parent company said in a press release. Roman Blanco succeeded him as CEO of the Boston-based subsidiary and its $79.8 billion-asset Sovereign Bank.

Blanco has led Banco Santander's operations in Puerto Rico since 2012. He was CEO of Banco Santander Colombia from 2007 to 2012. Before he joined Santander in 2004, Blanco worked as a senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey.

In a separate press release issued by the U.S. subsidiary, its chairman, Jerry Grundhofer, said Moran "has been instrumental in reorganizing Santander's businesses in the U.S., transforming Sovereign into a full-fledged commercial bank." Grundhofer is the former chairman and CEO of U.S. Bancorp (USB).

Blanco said in the same press release that Santander USA's "fundamentals are solid."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.