Visa has named card industry veteran Joseph Saunders as the new
chairman and CEO of Visa Inc, which will be created following
Visa’s transformation into a publicly traded company. Saunders’s
background includes extensive experience of bank acquisition and
integration activity, which should prove useful as Visa prepares to
integrate its global operating divisions.

Saunders joined Visa Inc’s board of directors in February as
executive chairman after a 30-year career in financial services.
Prior to joining Visa, Saunders was president of card services at
US issuer Washington Mutual, having joined the bank following the
acquisition of Providian Financial in 2005. Prior to that, he
served as chairman and CEO of Fleet Credit Card Services at
FleetBoston Financial, which was acquired by Bank of America in
2004.

Transition plans

Based in San Francisco, Saunders will report directly to Visa’s
transition governance committee, which includes representatives
from the boards of each of Visa’s regions, Visa’s IT unit Inovant
and Visa International. In October 2006 Visa disclosed plans for an
initial public offering and said it would restructure its
operations to create Visa Inc, a public company. Visa plans to form
Visa Inc through a series of mergers involving Visa Canada, Visa
USA and Visa International. Visa Europe will retain its
member-owned association structure and will become a licensee of
Visa Inc.

William Campbell, chairman of Visa International’s board of
directors, said: “Joe’s background is perfectly tailored to this
critical position. His 30-plus years of industry experience, the
leadership role he has played at major companies, his strong
integration experience and his first-hand knowledge of Visa make
him uniquely qualified to lead our company through one of the most
exciting times in its history.”

Saunders said: “My experience working with Visa has demonstrated
that this is a high-performing, highly focused team that delivers
results.

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By GlobalData