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First Data CEO Judge to Step Down, Cites Health Reasons

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The chief executive officer of First Data Corp. is resigning, the company said Friday.

Jonathan Judge told the Atlanta payments processor that he will step down from his roles as First Data CEO and a board member no later than March 31. He is resigning for health reasons, First Data said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

First Data has agreed to pay Judge $7.5 million following his resignation, a sum equal to two years' base pay plus a target bonus.

Judge has been at the helm of First Data since September 2010. Before joining the firm, he spent six years as president and CEO of Paychex, Inc.

"While my plans didn't anticipate such an early retirement, those plans needed to be changed for the benefit of my health," Judge said in a news release. "The directors have been very understanding and very gracious in their accommodation."

"We appreciate all the results Jon has accomplished at First Data," Chairman Joe Forehand said in the release. "He has provided great leadership and helped us take action to make First Data a great place to work. Jon has helped the company drive a customer-first focus. Over the last eight quarters under Jon's leadership First Data's [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] has grown significantly. We've made great progress in bringing new, innovative products to market. … We will miss Jon's leadership and wish him well in his recovery."

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