Mastercard Shifts Leadership Positions, Chairman Retires

Mastercard has announced that Ajay Banga, President and Chief Executive Officer, is leaving his position to move into the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mastercard, effective on January 1, 2021.

Banga will be succeeded by Mastercard’s Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach, who first joined the company in 2010 as president of Middle East and Africa. He has served as Mastercard’s Chief Product Officer since 2016 and has headed the network’s new products and innovation team since 2018.

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As part of the transition, Miebach will become President of the company, on March 1, 2020. In that role, he will oversee the sales, marketing, products, services and technology organizations.

“During the course of Michael’s 10 years at Mastercard, he has been a key architect of our multi-rail strategy — including leading the acquisition of Vocalink and the pending transaction with Nets — to address a broader set of payment flows,” Banga said in a statement.

“I’ve dedicated the last decade of my career to payment innovation and will continue to evolve and execute Mastercard’s strategy,” added Miebach.

Banga will be succeeding Mastercard’s current Chairman, Richard Haythornthwaite, who is set to retire from the Board after more than a decade.

The company revealed other changes to its Board, announcing that current member, Merit Janow, Dean of the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), was unanimously elected to become Lead Independent Director, effective on January 1, 2021. She will also continue to serve as Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee when Haythornthwaite retires.

The company announced one day earlier that its Q1 results could take a hit because of the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on cross-border travel and cross-border eCommerce growth. As a result, Mastercard is predicting that its growth in the first quarter will be two or three points lower than what was discussed in a January 2020 earnings call. And if the decline is limited only to the first quarter, the company said its year-end numbers would likely be in the low end of the low teens’ range compared to the previous year.