Robert H. Rosseau, dismissed in May as chief executive officer of Citicorp Diners Club, has been named president of the transaction processing subsidiary of Deluxe Corp.
Deluxe chairman and chief executive officer John A. "Gus" Blanchard announced the appointment at an investment community meeting Wednesday in New York. He said Mr. Rosseau would be in his new post by the middle of next week.
Mr. Rosseau, 48, will oversee many of the tasks by which Deluxe, the biggest check printer, wants to transform itself into a more diversified provider of information services and technology to financial institutions.
Reporting to Mr. Blanchard, he will also be the liaison to a joint venture with HCL Corp. of India, which Mr. Blanchard said will be a key software development asset.
The processing unit, Deluxe Data Systems Inc. in Milwaukee, was a pioneering provider of back-office support to automated teller machine networks. It ran into hard times as those networks consolidated, many bringing operations in-house. It remained big in payment-system software.
Deluxe Corp. does not disclose how much of its revenue - $1.8 billion last year - comes from Deluxe Data. Industry sources said the number exceeds $100 million. Mr. Blanchard said Mr. Rosseau will be expected to ratchet up annual growth, through acquisitions and other means, beyond the 15% to 20% that prevails in the processing industry.
Mr. Blanchard launched an overhaul of Deluxe Data, among other strategic reassessments, after joining the St. Paul-based parent company in May 1995. Most top managers left, including James E. McGowan, president of the processing unit since 1993.
Last January, Mr. Blanchard brought in John B. Benton, chairman of the Benton International consulting firm, as interim CEO of Deluxe Data. Mr. Blanchard said Mr. Benton paved the way for a new president by "opening doors" that included a home-banking strategic alliance with Online Resources and Communications Corp.
Mr. Benton introduced Mr. Rosseau to Mr. Blanchard. The handoff will be the same as one that occurred in 1984 when Mr. Benton, acting CEO of the Interlink point of sale network in California, handed those reins to Mr. Rosseau.
Mr. Rosseau led Diners Club for six years. He left after lodging a complaint with the European Union accusing Visa International of anticompetitive practices. Sources said the filing, similar to one made by American Express Co., embarrassed Citicorp, which is among Visa's biggest and strongest supporters.
Mr. Rosseau was to be "reassigned," Citicorp said in late May, but he was widely expected to go elsewhere.