Robert Wesley, an 18-year veteran of American Express Co. and a leader in its smart card efforts, has joined MasterCard International as senior vice president of global product management and development.
He joined two other card industry executives - Jean F. Rozwadowski from American Express and Jason L. Rodgers from Visa - in making the jump to MasterCard.
In the newly created post, Mr. Wesley reports to Joseph V. Tripodi, executive vice president of global marketing. Mr. Wesley will oversee three MasterCard businesses - cobranding, travel and entertainment, and corporate cards - as they expand globally.
Though he "enjoyed his time at American Express," Mr. Wesley said, MasterCard "is the best place to be to shape the future of money."
Mr. Wesley, 45, spent 10 years working in Japan, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, and also created a joint venture for American Express in Switzerland. This extensive international experience made him an attractive hire.
Mr. Rozwadowski, 49, after 20 years at American Express, became a MasterCard senior vice president for the Europe, Middle East/Africa, and Canada regions. Based in Paris, he reports to Robert W. Selander, president of MasterCard in those areas.
Mr. Rodgers, 51, formerly Visa's vice president of global merchant acceptance, joined MasterCard as senior vice president, global acceptance relations.
After six years at Visa, he will focus on merchant relationships worldwide. He reports to Brantley S. Orrell, senior vice president, global brand development.
"It seems clear that over the last year or two Gene Lockhart has begun to assemble a new senior management team and a cadre of talent reporting to that team," said Stephen Drees, a former MasterCard officer who is a principal of Strategic Marketing Services, Westborough, Mass. (H. Eugene Lockhart is MasterCard's president and chief executive officer.)
Though senior-level management switches among the major card organizations are rare, "certain skills that come out of that environment are hard to gain elsewhere," Mr. Drees said. He noted that international branding skills and payment system knowledge are generally not developed enough at a bank to be transferable to an international company.
James Accomando, an industry consultant in Fairfield, Conn., said the associations have a "tough time recruiting for key jobs" because they must choose either from another association, which is frowned upon, or from their memberships, which can cause political problems.