Jan-Erik Rottinghuis of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Verifone division has been named president and chief executive officer of Publicard Inc.

Effective Dec. 6, Mr. Rottinghuis will succeed James J. Weis, who is leaving after 13 years "to pursue other opportunities," the smart card development company said. Mr. Weis has been president and CEO since 1995 and before that was executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

Mr. Rottinghuis, 52, has been vice president of worldwide sales for Verifone Inc. in Paris since 1998. Before that he spent four years as vice president of sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Publicard, which is moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to New York, was formerly Publicker Industries, a producer of alcoholic beverages. It decided in 1998 to focus on smart cards and has been on an acquisition spree, buying up companies in niche markets such as laundries and vending machines. During Mr. Weis' tenure as CEO, Publicard acquired five chip-card-related businesses.

Publicard recently announced that its third-quarter sales were up 90%, to $8.2 million, but the net loss of $3.5 million, or 19 cents per share, worsened from a loss of $729,000, or 5 cents, a year earlier.

Publicard said the loss stemmed from its investment in infrastructure and funding of development projects in the technology products segment.

Harry Freund, chairman of Publicard's board, said he was "delighted to have attracted a chief executive of Jan-Erik's stature and experience."

In January, Publicard hired another prominent payment systems executive -- Richard Phillimore -- from MasterCard International to become executive vice president of smart card businesses.

Mr. Rottinghuis "brings broad-based expertise in e-business services and smart card solutions and systems to Publicard," Mr. Freund said. "He possesses the business vision and global marketing background that are essential for the successful execution of our smart card strategy."

Mr. Rottinghuis was director of European sales and marketing at Polaroid Corp. and general manager of Polaroid France from 1987 to 1993. Before that he held various positions in international marketing and business development at Wang Laboratories in Boston and France and was a management consultant at Bain & Co.

"I look forward to leading an organization with such an innovative and marketable product platform," Mr. Rottinghuis said in a statement. "Publicard is uniquely positioned to capture a commanding market share of the underpenetrated market for smart card products and services."

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