First USA Inc., the Dallas-based credit card specialist, has broadened its management team.

Richard W. Vague, 39, previously First USA Bank's president and chief operating officer, now holds the title of chairman and chief executive.

First USA has hired Randy L. Christofferson, the 39-year-old president of American Express Relationship Services, as president of the Wilmington, Del.-based bank.

The position of bank chairman had belonged to John C. Tolleson, who continues as chairman and chief executive of the bank holding company, First USA Inc.

"We are expanding our management team to take advantage of the evolving financial services industry and also to accommodate the significant growth and size of the company," Mr. Tolleson said in a release.

Using low rates to attract cardholders, First USA has become the fastest-growing issuer in the country. Since its formation 10 years ago, it has grown from the 28th-largest to fourth-largest bank card company in the United States. The bank currently has more than 10.5 million credit cards and $13.3 billion in outstandings.

In an interview, Mr. Vague described the bank's operations as "more and more complex. We want to think through our opportunities beyond strictly credit cards into other financial services," such as consumer loans.

Mr. Vague said his new position will ease his day-to-day responsibilities and allow him to focus more on strategic planning with Mr. Tolleson.

Mr. Christofferson said his first goal was to "get up to speed and build upon the core track record of our credit card business."

Mr. Vague is a cofounder of First USA Inc. and a member of its board of directors. He had served as president and chief executive of First USA Bank since 1987. He is a member of both MasterCard's business and Visa's card products committees.

Before attaining the American Express Relationship Services presidency in November 1994, Mr. Christofferson was senior vice president for worldwide quality and reengineering for American Express Travel Related Services. As president, Mr. Christofferson ran five divisions - merchandise, fee, sports and entertainment, telecommunications, and personal communication services.

A graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Business School, Mr. Christofferson has also worked as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development for American Express Co. His career also includes positions with Bain & Co. of Boston, and Proctor & Gamble of Cincinnati.

First USA Bank has initiated cobranding projects with companies such as Walden Books, Forbes magazine, and Orvis, a mail-order clothing retailer.

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