Citi Asia Pacific head Ajay Banga springs surprise move to MasterCard

Source: MasterCard

MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) today announced it has appointed Ajay Banga President and Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Robert W. Selander, currently President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Selander will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer after Mr. Banga joins MasterCard on August 31, 2009.

Mr. Banga is currently Citigroup's Chief Executive Officer of Citi Asia Pacific, responsible for all of Citi's business lines in the region including credit cards and consumer banking, institutional banking, wealth management and alternative investments. He is also a member of the company's Senior Leadership and Executive Committees.

At MasterCard, Banga, 49, will be responsible for key business operations including customer relationships globally in international and U.S. markets, products, services, marketing, technology and operations. The company's finance, human resources, and law and franchise integrity functions will continue to report to Selander.

"I am very pleased to have Ajay join our senior executive team and partner with me to grow MasterCard's value to our customers, merchants, consumers and investors," said Selander. "Ajay's experience in diverse industries and diverse geographies will reinforce and strengthen our global competencies as electronic payments continue to accelerate worldwide. With his expertise and leadership," Selander said," we hope to capture even more of the significant global payments opportunity."

"This is clearly a wonderful opportunity to join a company at the forefront of advancing global commerce," said Banga. "From its strong technology base to its local market expertise, MasterCard has many important resources in place to make life easier for consumers and payment systems more efficient for businesses and governments around the world. I look forward to joining my new colleagues and continuing the success they have so well architected over the years," Banga stated.

Banga, who joined Citi in 1996 as Head of Marketing and Sales in India, quickly rose through the ranks to Head of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Brussels, and was then appointed Division Executive, Consumer Bank for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in London. In 2000 he was appointed Business Head, CitiFinancial and U.S. Consumer Assets, and in 2002 became Executive Vice President, Global Consumer Group and President, Retail Banking North America.

He was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citi's Global Consumer Group International in 2005, which included all credit card and consumer banking operations outside North America. He was appointed to his current position in 2008.

Prior to joining Citigroup, he spent 13 years with Nestle India and two years with PepsiCo.

Banga serves on the Board of Directors of Kraft Foods Inc. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science and was a Board member of the National Urban League.

He graduated with a BA in Economics Honors from Delhi University and is also a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

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