Visa International has named Jan Soderstrom, 49, as executive vice president of marketing.

Ms. Soderstrom succeeds John Bennett, who will retire Oct. 15.

Ms. Soderstrom, an 11-year veteran of Visa, was most recently senior vice president of advertising and marketing for Visa U.S.A., where her responsibilities included brand development, advertising, and promotion.

She will be responsible for developing global marketing programs and will oversee market research and international event planning and management - including Visa's continuing sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

She will also direct brand management, international advertising and marketing, and public relations.

"John really set the tone for the worldwide application of the Visa brand by looking for further opportunities to expand the meaning of the brand globally," said Ms. Soderstrom.

"I want to continue to focus on implementing that strategy, because now is the time to make it happen out in the rest of the regions and to ensure that the Visa Brand continues as strong as it has."

Mr. Bennett, a 12-year Visa executive and a recognized figure in marketing circles, joined Visa USA as senior vice president of consumer marketing.

Before that he worked in product development and strategic planning with Citibank's card division, and was vice president in charge of marketing for American Express.

During Mr. Bennett's tenure, the 1988 Summer and Winter Olympics became Visa's first event sponsorship. Visa has sponsored every Olympics since.

Mr. Bennett and Ms. Soderstrom worked together with the BBDO advertising agency, which produced the famous campaign "Visa - It's Everywhere You Want to Be."

"John and I worked as a team," said Ms. Soderstrom. After helping to launch that campaign, she fostered its development, ensuring that it remained relevant.

"One of the important roles I can play is to facilitate the exchange of best practices and to ensure that the success stories are shared throughout the world," Ms. Soderstrom said. "I have the strength to integrate marketing efforts, so that there is a common voice as we try to maximize our strength in the marketplace."

Before joining Visa, Ms. Soderstrom was senior vice president of marketing at Gap Stores and held management positions at Atari, Hughes Airwest, Levi Strauss, and Sunkist.

Ms. Soderstrom will report to Edmund Jensen, president and chief executive officer for Visa International.

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