Visa Names JP Morgan Veteran Charles Scharf As Next CEO
Rumors that Visa would soon name its new top executive began popping up last week. Now we know they were legitimate.
Effective November 1, 2012, Charles Scharf will take over as Visa’s chief executive officer, replacing Joe Saunders, who will retire.
"The payments industry is an exciting place to be with both the continued migration across the globe to electronic payments and the development of ground-breaking new technologies, and Visa plays an important role in enabling both," said Mr. Scharf.
Scharf currently serves as Managing Director at One Equity Partners, which handles $10 billion in investments for JP Morgan, notes The Wall Street Journal. Scharf and current Visa exec Elizabeth Buse had been linked as Saunders’ possible replacements last week.
Scharf has previously spent time running JP Morgan’s retail bank, when he was considered a candidate to replace James Dimon as CEO, and has served as CFO of Bank One and Citigroup’s Global Corporate Investment Bank in the past. Previously a Visa boardmember, Scharf will rejoin the board as CEO as it expands from 10 to 11 members.
Saunders, who cited Scharf as “uniquely qualified” to lead Visa, has served as Visa’s CEO since 2007, guiding it through its initial public offering in 2008 and difficult financial times. Visa’s current share price sits at $136.49 – up from its IPO price of 44.00.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to lead Visa through its transition to public listing," said Mr. Saunders. "Over the past five years, we have put the company on a clear path towards continued long-term growth. “
While Scharf will take over as CEO early next month, Saunders plans to remain with Visa as executive chairman until his official retirement in March 2013.
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