Visa confirmed Charlie Scharf is resigning as chief executive officer effective December 1st, and will be replaced by Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. as CEO. Mr. Kelly, a current Visa board member, is the president and chief executive officer of Intersection Co. and the former president of American Express.
Mr. Scharf informed the board of directors that he decided to resign his position as CEO and board member because he could no longer spend the time in San Francisco necessary to do the job effectively. The board of directors did a rigorous review of a diverse set of internal and external candidates and is extremely gratified that Mr. Kelly has accepted the position. Mr. Kelly will join the company on October 31, 2016 as CEO designate. As part of the transition, Mr. Scharf will serve as an advisor to Mr. Kelly beginning December 1, 2016 for several months.
In his 23 years at American Express, Mr. Kelly held a variety of leadership positions. In addition to being president of American Express, he was head of the Global Consumer and Consumer Card Services groups. He currently serves on the board of directors of MetLife Inc.
Mr. Scharf commented: “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. It has been an incredible privilege and honor to work with my many colleagues who have contributed so significantly to our success and transformation, and have strengthened our position as the leading global payments provider. I feel confident that the clarity of our strategic goals and our decisive actions will ensure that we continue to thrive in this quickly evolving industry.”
Under Mr. Scharf’s leadership, Visa has strengthened its position in global electronic payments and has been a leader in bringing innovation to the industry. Visa 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.
In addition, the company successfully completed the acquisition of Visa Europe in June 2016, and delivered strong financial results, with operating income climbing to $9.1 billion in FY 2015. Visa’s stock was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2013.