Hypercom Corp.'s top two officers are trading places. In what the point of sale terminal company characterized as part of a planned succession, George Wallner has become president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Wallner, 49, the company founder, had been chairman and chief technologist. He will retain responsibility for research and development as he takes on the CEO responsibilities.

Albert Irato, 61, a former American Express Co. executive who had been Hypercom's president and CEO since 1992, has become chairman. A company statement said he will "continue to provide counsel and support" to Mr. Wallner as CEO.

Hypercom, which is second to Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Verifone division in the point of sale payment systems market, also said it is combining North American and overseas operations into a single sales and support unit, Hypercom Global POS.

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