Hypercom Inc., the Phoenix-based point of sale and network systems developer, has formed an international subsidiary.

Hypercom International will be headed by Jairo Gonzalez, who joined Hypercom Inc. five years ago.

The division is meant to coordinate Hypercom's worldwide strategic planning and help tailor products and marketing to different economies, political systems, and cultures, Mr. Gonzalez said.

Hypercom's competitor Verifone Inc., the top U.S. manufacturer of point of sales terminals, is also putting a new focus on international business. It recently created the post of vice president of worldwide marketing and promoted C. Lloyd Mahaffey to fill it.

The move was seen as a way for Verifone to coordinate strategic planning, product marketing, and related communications internationally.

But Mr. Gonzalez, 33, said Hypercom's international strategy is different.

Verifone, based in Redwood City, Calif., has only recently expanded from the United States to reach a global market, he said. Hypercom, on the other hand, which started about 12 years ago in Australia, has always been an international company, he said.

"We've always believed international markets to be a very important source of revenue," he said. "We will see a continued expansion into new markets like China, Eastern Europe, and Russia, which have been closed economies. "

A consultant said Hypercom and Verifone will take advantage of growing opportunities in Eastern Europe and Asia.

"They need to seek new markets due to the flattening of the growth curve in the United States," said Paul Martaus, president of Martaus & Associates, Clearwater, Fla. "The international divisions that they are setting up will allow the international heads to respond to competitive thrusts without going through a United States hierarchy."

Mr. Gonzalez was born in the United States and grew up in Bogota, Colombia. He has a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from the University of Oregon. Before joining Hypercom he was a partner in Kapel, a Bogota specialist in image capture and retrieval for banks.

Reporting to Mr. Gonzalez will be Michael Sun, 38, now director of Hypercom Asia. He has been with the company 10 years.

German Cardenas, 33, was promoted to vice president of Hypercom Latino America, the job formerly held by Mr. Gonzalez. He has been with Hypercom five years. Graeme Collings, 39, continues as director of Hypercom Japan, a job he has held for four years. Rob Meli, 42, joined Hypercom a year ago and will be director of Hypercom Europe.

Hypercom's sales in fiscal 1995 totaled $206 million.

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