Speaking at a ceremony marking the start of construction work on the $4.7 billion energy project, Mattias Warnig said he would abandon his executive functions at the bank but retain his seat on the board of directors.
Warnig said the relevant contract would be signed next week.
Stanislav Tsygankov, a senior manager for Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, said the Russian-German NEGP joint venture had applied for registration in Switzerland November 30 and received certification December 5.
The pipeline project, in which Gazprom holds 51%, and Germany's BASF and E.OG AJ 24.5% each, is designed to create a direct route for natural gas supplies from Russia to its biggest market in Europe, bypassing transit countries (Ukraine and Poland).
The pipeline will connect the Baltic Sea shore near the Russian city of Vyborg with the Greifswald region on the German coast along the Baltic seabed.
The project is set to pump gas from Russia's Yuzhno-Russkoye, Zapolyarnoye and Prirazlomnoye gas fields and from the 3.2 trillion cu m Shtokman gas condensate deposit on a Barents Sea shelf in northern Russia.