Visa U.S.A. said it has hired International Business Machines Corp. executive John T. Gardner Jr. to lead a sales team that manages relationships with Visa member banks.

Mr. Gardner's job, executive vice president of member sales and integrated solutions, is a newly created post. Visa has reorganized its sales activities to offer members more help with their strategies.

Mr. Gardner, 52, reports to Bond Isaacson, executive vice president of sales and integrated solutions and head of e-Visa.

The card association's "success is tied closely to its ability to build and maintain its strong strategic partnerships with member banks in an increasingly complex marketplace," said Carl Pascarella, president and chief executive officer of Visa. "John's sales experience in the computer industry and his in-depth knowledge of banking give him the right tools to tackle this challenging position successfully."

Mr. Gardner spent the past 26 years at IBM in sales and marketing posts, most recently as the lead marketing strategist for its account with Bank of America Corp., where he developed information technology solutions to support the company's business requirements. He is to be based in Charlotte, N.C.

- Miriam Kreinin Souccar

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