Visa CEO Charlie Scharf steps down

CEO Charlie Scarf steps down from Visa / Courtesy of @VisaSmallBiz on Twitter

Citing the need to spend more time with family on the East Coast, Charlie Scharf has resigned as Visa’s chief executive officer. Scharf said that he could no longer spend the time in San Francisco that was needed to do the job.

“I love working and running this great global company and I am sad to have reached the conclusion that I should step down, but running a San Francisco based company just doesn’t work for me personally right now and wouldn’t be fair to Visa,” Scharf said.

In Scharf’s tenure at Visa, the company has “transformed its technology platform by opening access to its network and capabilities through the Visa Developer Center, partnered with the world’s leading technology companies to drive new payment experiences, introduced new technologies to improve payment system security, and built a world class management team.”

“Charlie has been a visionary CEO, highly successful by any set of metrics. He has helped transform Visa, the leading global payments technology company, into a technology-driven digital commerce company and has led a strategy that will benefit this company for years to come,” said Robert W. Matschullat, the company’s independent chairman, in a statement. “The board of directors is extremely grateful for Charlie’s leadership and wishes to thank him for his outstanding four-year tenure, which saw total shareholder return increase by more than 130 percent, outperforming both the overall stock market and our peer group.”

In response, the Visa Board of Directors voted to select Alfred F. Kelly Jr. as CEO. Kelly is a Visa board member and is the president and chief executive officer of Intersection Co. and the former president of American Express Co. He will transition starting October 31 as CEO designate.

“We are thrilled to have found someone with Al’s expertise and knowledge to take Visa to even greater heights. Al is a veteran payments industry executive who knows Visa well, having served as a board member for the past two-and-a-half years,” Matschullat said in a statement. “The board unanimously agrees that Al is the right leader for the company, and we expect a seamless transition given Al’s deep knowledge of the industry, demonstrated leadership capabilities, and his strong relationships with the talented management team currently in place.”

After the company announced that Scharf was resigning, Visa shares declined 1.8 percent to $80.69 after hours.

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