Ajay Banga is the new MasterCard CEO

Ajay Banga is the new MasterCard CEO

New CEO of Mastercard Ajay Banga, left, and ex-CEO Robert W Selander. (AP File Photo)

New York:  Prominent India-origin banker Ajay Banga, a Citigroup veteran, has been appointed as the chief executive officer of electronic payment services provider MasterCard.

The 50-year-old Banga, currently the company's president and chief operating officer, would take over as the CEO from July 1, MasterCard said in a statement on Monday.

"I am excited to lead MasterCard at a time when the global opportunity for electronic payments has never been stronger," Banga, said.

Banga, a Delhi University product, is the brother of high profile Manvinder Singh Banga of Uniliver. Last month, M S Banga, President, Global Foods, Home & Personal Care, Uniliver, had announced that he would leave the company by the end of May.

Ajay Banga graduated in Economics from Delhi University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

He succeeds Robert W Selander, who has been heading the company since March 1997. With this appointment, Banga would be joining the likes of Citigroup's Vikram Pandit and PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi in heading a global corporate.

Banga will also become a board member with immediate effect, the company said.

MasterCard, the global payment solution leader, processes over 22 billion transactions in a year. It had a profit of $1.5 billion on revenues of $5.1 billion for 2009.

Before joining MasterCard on August 31, 2009, Banga had spent 13 long years with banking major Citigroup. He was Citi Asia-Pacific CEO, responsible for all of the company's business lines in the region including institutional banking, wealth management and credit cards.

He was with Citi for 13 years and held various roles in the US, Europe and Middle East, among others.

Banga started his career with Nestle in 1981 and later joined Pepsico. He also serves on the board of Kraft Foods.

"We are fortunate to announce the transition to a leader with Ajay's expertise and experience. His industry knowledge, as well as his deep background in financial services encompassing many geographies, makes him the ideal CEO to successfully drive MasterCard's future growth," MasterCard Board of Directors' Chairman Richard Haythornthwaite said.

Following the transition, Selander would serve as the MasterCard's executive vice chairman and continue to serve as a board member till his retirement on December 31, 2010.

"Since joining MasterCard in late August 2009, Ajay has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and insight, and I know he is the ideal candidate to lead MasterCard moving forward, Selander said.
Story First Published: April 13, 2010 00:58 IST

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