H. Eugene Lockhart has placed his stamp on MasterCard International in many ways since he became president six months ago but none so crucial as in management changes.
Most recently, he named Jerry McElhatton executive vice president of MasterCard International and president of global operations and technology services, and Robert W. Selander president of the Europe, Middle East/Africa, and Canada regions.
At the same time, he appointed Mary C. Johnsson senior vice president of corporate planning and increased the status of MasterCard's communications department to that of a global service.
This was the first of many management shuffles planned by Mr. Lockhart, who indicated that changes will be made gradually. "I know exactly where I want to focus the resources," he said. "This is the first step. We really need to manage ourselves like a global company."
MasterCard's leader said he has been examining the New York based association's structure every day since he took the reins from Alex W. "Pete" Hart in March.
To get a better understanding of how things work and how they could be improved, he solicited comment from employees. What he found in a survey is that they wanted greater organizational clarity and accountability at the top that could filter through the system.
"They also wanted to know 'who's on first' this is a need they've felt for quite a while," Mr. Lockhart said. "A key underlying philosophy [of MasterCard is], we're a global company; you can't manage a global company centrally; you have to have a strong focus and accountability at the regional level."
A well-known technology and operations specialist, Mr. McElhatton will work from MasterCard's technology hub in St. Louis, while Mr. Selander, a Citicorp veteran, will be based in New York.
Both fill newly created posts reporting to 'Mr. Lockhart. Formerly, MasterCard's chief operating officer handled the technology duty from New York, in addition to his other responsibilities.
"I'm trying to send a signal to the world and to MasterCard employees that technology is the absolute core issue for MasterCard going forward," Mr. Lockhart said.
"It seems [MasterCard] is truly recognizing the importance in technology," said J. Paul Boushelle, executive vice president, First Security Bank of New Mexico, who has worked on a number of committees with Mr. McElhatton. These include the American Bankers Association's operations and automation executive committee.
"They certainly made a very professional choice," Mr. Boushelle said. "Jerry's been an absolute leader in technology for 20-plus years."
And he brings more than 25 years of banking experience to the job. At MasterCard, Mr. McElhatton will have functional responsibility for operations in each region.
He has designed and installed processing and operating systems for some of the largest banks in the United Kingdom, including Midland Bank.
In the United States, Mr. McElhatton was president and chief executive of First Republic Bank Corp. for 10 years, and was a managing director of group operations for the bank. Since 1988, he has been president of Dallas-based Payment Systems Technology and Consulting.
Mr. Selander brings more than 20 years of experience with Citibank to MasterCard.
His most recent post was director of global retail strategy. He also was chief of staff in Brussels for Citibank's European consumer activities and head of individual banking activities in the United Kingdom and Brazil. He will be responsible for sales and service activities in the three regions. Before his appointment, An Ziegler, MasterCard's chairman emeritus, had acted as head of the Middle East/Africa and Europe regions.
MasterCard's chairman sent out a five-page memo to employees Sept. 16 to explain the changes and prepare the way for more.
"There are more changes to come," Mr. Lockhart said. Noting the ever-changing character of the payment systems industry, he added, "The players are changing; therefore, change is constant, and I wanted to prepare people in MasterCard that (a) it's exciting and (b) we need to be adaptive."