Mike Regnier has been the building society’s chief executive since 2017.
“I am delighted to be able to appoint someone of Mike’s calibre as our new CEO He brings a powerful combination of experience, knowledge and energy, twinned with a positive vision for the future of the bank,” said Santander chairman William Vereker.
Last year Mr Regnier was one of the highest paid bosses of a UK building society, according to an analysis by the Mail on Sunday.
He has been in the role since 2017, and will be replaced by Yorkshire’s chief operating officer Stephen White, subject to regulatory approval.
Yorkshire Building Society chairman John Heaps said: “He has led the society superbly through a period of significant challenge as we have addressed both the transformation to a more digitised world and the complexities of the Covid pandemic.”
Mr Regnier said: “I am honoured to be joining Santander, a bank with a rich heritage in the UK, a strong track record of innovation and a commitment to helping our country prosper.
“I am excited to be able to make a real difference to people and businesses across the UK, helping them to thrive and grow with the support of Santander’s incredible team and unique services and products.”
He added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Yorkshire Building Society and it has been a great privilege to have been CEO. I was very proud to lead an outstanding and talented group of colleagues who always, and especially during the pandemic, put members first.
“I feel that now is the right time for me to take on a different challenge and leave the society in excellent shape for my successor to take the society on the next phase of its journey.”