FIS Opens Strategic Review and Accelerates CEO Transition

FIS has made leadership changes and begun a performance review.

The financial services technology firm said in a Thursday (Dec. 15) press release that, effective Friday (Dec. 16), Jeffrey A. Goldstein has been appointed independent chairman of the board of directors. Stephanie L. Ferris will become CEO and Gary A. Norcross will depart from the company and the board. 

Goldstein is currently the lead independent director of the board; Ferris is currently president and had been previously announced as the incoming CEO. Norcross is currently CEO and chairman of the board of directors and has been with FIS for 34 years. 

This move accelerates some previously announced leadership changes. As PYMNTS reported on Oct. 18, Ferris had been appointed president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2023, while Norcross was to become executive chairman of the board at that time. 

“Stephanie is an accomplished industry veteran with expertise in payments, technology platform businesses and driving transformation and has already demonstrated at FIS how she will leverage her deep understanding of FIS’ colleagues, clients and strategy to lead the organization with her reputation for driving operational excellence, disciplined innovation and client inspiration,” Goldstein said in the release. “The board is confident she is the ideal leader to take the company forward and enhance shareholder value.” 

In addition to making these leadership changes, FIS said in the press release that it would transition to an independent board chair structure. 

“FIS is well positioned for growth across our markets and we are moving forward with this new board leadership structure from a position of great opportunity,” Goldstein said in the release. 

In a separate Thursday press release, FIS also said that Ferris and the board had launched a “comprehensive assessment” of FIS’ strategy, businesses, operations and structure, aiming to improve results, shareholder value and client services. 

The review is a priority and the company has not set a timetable for its completion, according to the press release. 

“We are taking a hard look at every aspect of our company to define areas for change and develop specific action and improvement plans,” Ferris said in the release. 

As part of a board “refreshment,” FIS has appointed Mark A. Ernst to the board as an independent director. Ernst has 25 years’ experience in senior management positions in the financial services industry and is currently the managing partner at private investment firm Bellevue Capital LLC

“We’re pleased to welcome Mark to the board and believe the company and our stakeholders will benefit from his experience, skills and leadership, Goldstein said in the release.