GFT Technologies SE Appoints Marco Santos as CEO

STUTTGART, Germany & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Administrative Board of GFT Technologies SE today appointed Marco Santos as the new CEO ofthe digitalization group. The 48-year-old will take office on 1 July 2024 and will initially lead GFT as Co-CEO together with Marika Lulay until the end of the year. Marika Lulay (61) will leave the Group Executive Board at the end of her contract on 31 December 2024. In addition to his current role, Jochen Ruetz (56), CFO of GFT Technologies SE, will become Deputy CEO as of 1 January 2025.

Santos has held leading roles at GFT since 2011. He was initially the Country Manager of GFT Brazil and then headed up GFT’s Latin American operations. In 2020, he also assumed responsibility for GFT USA and was appointed to the GFT Group Executive Board. During this time he oversaw a period of rapid growth especially of GFT Brazil. In 2023, he was promoted to CEO at GFT Americas leading operations throughout North and Latin America.

Ulrich Dietz, Chairman of the Administrative Board of GFT Technologies, said: “Marco Santos is a guarantor of growth and innovation. He has proven this time and again throughout his career at GFT, both in North and Latin America. He has built strong teams and opened up new markets. He is consistently among the first to use the potential of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, for the benefit of GFT and our clients.”

“I would like to thank the Administrative Board for their trust and look forward to shaping the future of GFT Technologies as CEO,” says Marco Santos. “GFT’s development in recent years shows the enormous potential of our strong team with over 12,000 talents in 20 key markets. Our goal is therefore clear, we are steering the company towards an exponential future.”

The Administrative Board has also appointed Jochen Ruetz, CFO of GFT, as Deputy CEO. He has many years of capital market and business experience and has been CFO of GFT Technologies SE since 2003. The Administrative Board today extended Jochen Ruetz’s contract once again until 31 December 2029.

“Over the past two decades, Jochen Ruetz has been a key figure in the success and professionalism of GFT,” says Ulrich Dietz. “His sound financial expertise, leadership skills and strategic foresight are important foundations for a new era of growth. He is therefore predestined to be Deputy CEO.”

“I am delighted that Marco and Jochen will continue to develop GFT together,” says Marika Lulay. “I have been working very closely and trustingly with both for many years. I therefore know that both live the values of GFT and cultivate a management style that will motivate our teams around the world to reach new heights of performance.”

Looking back on Marika Lulay’s tenure and ahead to the future of GFT, Ulrich Dietz said: “Marika Lulay has shaped GFT for over 20 years, first as COO and then as CEO. Together with our team, she has developed GFT into a company that occupies a leading and recognized position worldwide. The successful international expansion in particular is largely due to Marika Lulay’s strategy. The Administrative Board would like to thank her for her unconditional commitment. She has set high standards for her successors. With Marco Santos and Jochen Ruetz, we have found an excellent succession plan that emphasizes continuity and our ambitions for exponential growth. I am sure that GFT will continue to develop successfully with the new team.”

Curriculum vitae Marco Santos

Marco Santos joined GFT in 2011. He was initially the Country Manager of GFT Brazil, and then headed up GFT’s Latin American operations. In 2020, he also assumed responsibility for GFT USA and was appointed to the GFT Group Executive Board. In 2023, he was promoted to CEO at GFT Americas leading operations throughout North and Latin America.

He has deep knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, Next Generation Digital Platforms, cloud modernization, general management, professional services and customer experience. His track record expands across multiple sectors, with special attention to financial services and manufacturing.

With more than 28 years in the technology sector, since joining GFT in 2011, Marco has helped transform clients’ digital visions into tangible realities – and in the process expand the company’s operations within North and Latin America. In his previous role as Head of GFT Brazil, for example, Marco was responsible for starting up the operation in the market and growing its team substantially.

Prior to joining GFT, Marco held executive positions at multinational and national companies such as TATA Consultancy Services, Oracle, CPM Capgemini and Organic Inc.

Marco is passionate about creating impact in the society through the inclusion of disadvantaged people in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Marco has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Universidade de São Paulo (USP), an MBA in International Business from FIA-USP (Brazil) and multiple specializations by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Illinois and by Singularity University.

Curriculum vitae Dr Jochen Ruetz

Since August 2003 Dr Jochen Ruetz has been GFT’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), initially as a member of the Executive Board of GFT Technologies AG, and since the change of legal form to GFT Technologies SE in August 2015 as Managing Director and member of the Administrative Board. He is responsible for finance, IT, human resources, legal, purchasing, audit, investor relations and mergers & acquisitions.

Before joining GFT in September 2003, Dr Jochen Ruetz served for three years as managing director of STRABAG BRVZ Bau-, Rechen- und Verwaltungszentrum GmbH, which brings together all of the commercial activities of the STRABAG Group. In this position, his responsibilities included group and project management accounting, bookkeeping, information administration, finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Before this, he was in charge of group management accounting at STRABAG AG. Dr Jochen Ruetz started his career in corporate development at Deutsche Bank AG in 1993.

Dr Jochen Ruetz completed a degree in business administration at the University of Regensburg in 1994. He went on to receive his doctorate in 1997 from Cologne University through a part-time study program.

This press release is also available for download via the GFT newsroom

About GFT – Shaping the future of digital business

GFT is a digital transformation pioneer. By leveraging next-generation technologies, we enable clients to boost their productivity with intelligent software solutions. We focus on Digital Finance, Enterprise AI & Data Solutions, and Platform Modernization.

GFT’s strengths include deep technological excellence, a strong ecosystem of partners, and industry expertise. We are agile@scale and boost digital transformation for clients from the finance and insurance sectors, as well as the manufacturing industry. GFT talents create, implement, and manage software applications to enable innovative businesses while complying with regulations.

With locations in 20 markets around the globe, GFT ensures proximity to its clients. We draw on over 35 years of experience and a global team of over 12,000 determined talents. GFT provides them with career opportunities in the most innovative areas of software engineering. The GFT Technologies SE share is listed in the SDAX index of the German Stock Exchange (ticker: GFT-XE).