Francois Dutray, the senior Visa International executive who oversaw chip card strategy, left last week to join Motorola Inc. as vice president and general manager of a smart card technology division.
Schaumburg, Ill.-based Moto-rola is one of the companies supporting the Visa approach to smart cards, the Partner Program.
In his two years with Visa, Mr. Dutray became a vocal advocate of the Java computing language, which was at the technological core of the Partner Program, and sparked a lively debate with advocates of the competing Mondex operating system.
A Visa spokeswoman said the company remains "very committed to the Java platform," and Mr. Dutray's departure does not affect that. His successor as group executive vice president of emerging products has not been named.
Before joining Visa's headquarters staff in San Francisco, Mr. Dutray worked in his native France for the card processor Sligos, the computer company Bull, and Thomson CSF. His Motorola post "sounds like a much bigger job," said James B. Shanahan of Business Dynamics, a consulting firm in Nyack, N.Y.
Mr. Dutray, who was not available for comment, will lead Motorola's newly aggressive smart card strategy. It has combined two business units- Indala, which serves the access control market, and the smart card systems business it launched in March-in a worldwide smart card division.
The unit is pursuing customers in the public transit, government, banking, and education sectors.
Kevin Colosia, director of market and business development for Motorola's smart card systems business, said the company is close to announcing deals with several transit authorities and banks. He said one of its biggest initiatives is an electronic cash product linked to mass- transit systems.
"Where else do you get a base of twice-daily users that comprise maybe 10% of a city's population?" Mr. Colosia said.
Motorola last month an-nounced a marketing alliance with ERG Ltd., a maker of transit fare collection and smart card systems.