Continuing the smart card industry's game of musical chairs, MasterCard International said it is hiring Richard Phillimore away from Europay International.

Mr. Phillimore, 50, is to become senior vice president of MasterCard's chip business unit in February. The former senior manager of chip business development at Europay is relocating from Brussels to MasterCard's Purchase, N.Y., headquarters.

Though he is staying "within the family" - MasterCard is a minority shareholder in, and strategic ally of, Europay - his is one of many recent career moves around the smart card world.

Peter Hill, who oversaw development of the Visa Cash program, left the San Francisco-based card association in December to become chief technology officer of Mondex International in London. Thomas Ream left Verifone Inc. to become president of Intellect Electronics, an Australian-owned terminal maker establishing itself in the smart card business.

Robin Townend, a senior smart card executive at MasterCard, left more than a year ago and recently landed at Intellect. Joseph Schuler moved from National City Corp.'s Stored Value Systems to smart card maker Schlumberger. And Michael G. Love left Electronic Payment Services Inc. and ended up managing Visa Cash pilots for First Union Corp.

Mr. Phillimore said he looks forward to promoting "chip cards in a wider, global perspective" than just in Europe.

"MasterCard, Europay, and Visa have made a decision to move the existing card infrastructure from magnetic stripe to chip," said Mr. Phillimore. "My role will be to manage that process over the next five years."

Mr. Phillimore has a mix of technical and business expertise. He is patent holder for Clip, the Europay stored-value system now being tested in the Czech Republic, Spain, and Iceland.

Before joining Europay in 1989, he spent 25 years at National Westminster Bank in London - coincidentally the developer of Mondex, which MasterCard will soon control - where his last assignment was in bank cards.

Jerome Svigals, a Redwood City, Calif.-based, consultant, said MasterCard has "cleaned out the management" of its chip card group "and put someone in who knows what he's doing."

Mr. Svigals said Mr. Phillimore's work with Clip was "impressive," and "he will provide good leadership."

Mr. Phillimore will be responsible for integrating credit and debit services on the Mondex platform.

"One of the benefits of buying Mondex," Mr. Phillimore said of MasterCard's impending acquisition of 51%, "is the access to a significant number of people versed in chip technology. It's a very good pool of expert resources."

He will be working closely with Michael Keegan, Mondex's chief executive. Both will report to G. Henry Mundt, MasterCard executive vice president of global deposit access.

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