Mastercard’s CEO of 10 years, Ajay Banga, will step down.
India-born Ajay Banga, who took charge of Mastercard just after the 2008-09 financial crisis, will step down from the CEO job as of January 2021. He will take on the role of executive chairman while Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach, who has been with Mastercard for the past 10 years, will turn into the company’s president as of March 1. As the president, Miebach will oversee sales, marketing, products, services, and technology organizations for the company. According to IBM Times, Miebach will assume the role of the chief executive officer and join the board on January 1, 2021, same day Banga will take over as the company’s executive chairman.
“While the news is surprising and bittersweet given the admirable job Mr. Banga has done leading the company over the past 10+ years, Mr. Miebach has a solid track record, and we believe he is well-suited for the CEO role given his broad-based experience at the company,” wrote Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Sanjay Sakhrani in a note to clients.
Calling it “the right time” for a transition in top leadership, Ajay Banga, who assumed the CEO mantle in the summer of 2010, praised Miebach’s skills as a strategist and manager, wrote John Stewart in Digital Transactions:
“He understands what it means to add things that add value,” Banga said, adding his agenda from now until January is “to make this transition as seamless as possible. Michael knows the company and the industry well. He has a fresh pair of eyes, and will serve the company well (…) Now, our revenue profile is much more diversified,” he said. “There are more legs to the stool. That keeps the company on a healthy growth trajectory.”
“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. He’s also a visionary who kickstarted much of the work behind our financial inclusion journey. I am excited to continue working closely with Michael and supporting Mastercard’s success when I become Executive Chairman,” Banga said about Miebach.
Miebach was unanimously elected as the CEO by the Mastercard’s board of directors. His 25 years of experience in the field of finance makes him ideal for the job.