DALLAS — After more than a decade with Santander Consumer USA, Jason Kulas has stepped down from his role as the finance source’s president and CEO to pursue other opportunities, according to a company press release.
Kulas was named CEO in July 2015. He then added the title of president after the departure of Jason Grubb in February 2016. Succeeding Kulas as president and CEO is Scott Powell, the finance source’s board of directors announced today. He will maintain his title of CEO of Santander Holdings USA Inc. (SHUSA) and as Santander Group’s United States country head.
"Scott's depth of experience makes him the right person to continue SC's evolution and to sustain its long-term performance," said the company’s Chairman Bill Rainer. "Scott's role as both SHUSA CEO and SC CEO will position SC to grow, to strengthen its commitment to customers and to progress toward operating at major financial institution standards. As we welcome Scott to his new role, the SC Board also thanks Jason Kulas for his service to SC, and wishes him well."
Rainer noted that Powell has led significant changes across Santander's U.S. business, including improving the financial performance of Santander Bank, leading SHUSA's efforts to have its capital plan approved after passing the Federal Reserve's capital stress test, and overseeing the work that led to the termination last week of SHUSA's 2014 Written Agreement with the Federal Reserve.
Powell was appointed CEO of SHUSA in 2015 and has served on SC's board of directors since 2016. He brings extensive auto and risk management experience from more than three decades working in retail banking, risk management and consumer and auto lending. Prior to joining Santander, Powell held a variety of senior roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co., including head of banking and consumer lending operations, CEO of consumer banking and retail investments, head of retail lending, head of Chase Auto Finance, and chief risk officer of consumer lending. He also spent 14 years at Citigroup and its predecessors in a variety of senior risk management roles.
“I look forward to leading the Santander Consumer team,” said Powell. “My focus will be on strengthening the company's financial and operational performance, delivering returns for all shareholders, improving risk management and putting our customers at the center of everything we do. That includes a focus on continuing to deliver value for Chrysler, a key part of Santander Consumer's business."
The finance source also announced that appoint of SHUSA COO Mahesh Aditya to Santander Consumer’s board of directors. Aditya has extensive experience in consumer lending and risk management. Prior to joining Santander, he was chief risk officer of Visa Inc. He also spent 17 years at Citibank, and held senior operations and risk positions with JPMorgan Chase and Capital One.