Transmedia Europe Inc. has hired veteran charge card executive Nick Rowe to cross-market products to the six million members of Countdown PLC, a recently acquired discount company.

Based in London, Mr. Rowe, 54, will also develop opportunities for expanding the restaurant discount card company's international business.

With 20 years' experience in the charge card industry, Mr. Rowe was most recently chief executive officer of Girovend Holdings Ltd., where he steered development of a smart card.

Mr. Rowe's knowledge of international marketing and "experience in smart cards is a perfect fit for Countdown," said Edward Guinan, chairman and chief executive officer of Transmedia Europe.

Unlike the Transmedia card, Countdown's does not record transactions when presented to obtain discounts. But Transmedia is exploring the option of adding smart card technology.

From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Rowe was managing director of Diners Club International, where he was responsible for a network of more than 32 franchises in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Mr. Rowe began his card career as vice president of the card division at American Express Co., heading customer service and strategic planning in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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