Popular’s Carrión Appointed Executive Chairman Ignacio Álvarez now CEO
SAN JUAN – Popular Inc. announced Tuesday that its board has appointed Richard Carrión, currently its chairman and CEO, as executive chairman of the board. In this new role, the institution’s release says, Carrión will collaborate with the new CEO on corporate strategy, “with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, innovation and technology, social responsibility initiatives and government and client relations,” and will continue to chair the board.
According to the release, the board intends that, over a period of three years, Carrión will transition to the role of non-executive chairman.
Ignacio Álvarez, who has been president and chief operating officer since 2014, was named president and CEO and a member of the board. These appointments will become effective July 1.
“These changes are part of a natural transition. After 26 years as CEO, I am ready, Ignacio is ready, and the organization is ready, for a new leadership structure. As President and COO, Ignacio has proven his strength as a leader, delivering positive results in our Puerto Rico business despite challenging conditions and overseeing the repositioning of our operations in the United States, all while demonstrating a deep understanding of our organization’s culture and earning the respect of employees at all levels. I am confident that Popular will continue to thrive under his direction, and I look forward to continue working closely with him in this new chapter,” Carrión says in the release.
Carrión joined Popular in 1976, became president in 1985, CEO in 1991 and chairman in 1993. Under his leadership, the institution says it “consolidated its position as the leading financial institution in Puerto Rico,” completing acquisitions such as Banco de Ponce in 1990, Roig Commercial Bank in 1997, Westernbank in 2010 and Doral Bank in 2015. “Carrión also spearheaded the transformation of Puerto Rico’s payment system through the deployment of automatic teller machines and point-of-sale terminals during the 1980s and 1990s. He led the diversification of the corporation’s revenues, driving significant growth in Popular’s U.S. operation,” Popular says in Tuesday’s statement.
As president and COO, Álvarez has overseen the operations of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and Popular Community Bank–which has branches in New York, New Jersey and Florida–for the past three years. Before joining Popular in 2010 as chief legal officer, Álvarez practiced corporate and banking law.
“It has been a privilege to work alongside Richard for the past seven years and I share his vision and his commitment to upholding the core values that make this organization unique. I undertake this new role with a deep sense of responsibility, grateful to be able to count on Richard’s continuing guidance and on the support of an outstanding management team.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work with our close to 8,000 employees to continue serving our clients and position our organization for the future. I am energized by the opportunities that lie ahead,” Álvarez is quoted in the written announcement.