Elizabeth Buse will become sole CEO for UK-based mobile banking provider Monitise Plc in a company shakeup stemming from a failure to attract a buyer in the first three months of 2015.
Buse, a former Visa executive, has been co-CEO at the company since last June, and will assume the top spot as co-CEO Alastair Lukies steps down and moves to a board-appointed role as founder and strategic adviser, the company reported in a statement March 25. Lukies has been CEO of Monitise since January 2003.
Monitise had suffered a profit slide the past few years, forcing a change in its business model from subscriptions to individual products and services. The company is projecting losses in the 40 million to 50 million pounds range for 2015, according to reports.
However, the company has forecast a return to profit in the 2016 fiscal year.
Monitise disclosed it had "positive discussions" with a number of parties interested in acquiring the company, but the board ultimately determined that a streamlined and independent Monitise would be the best option for long-term success and value to shareholders.
"I am extremely confident that the business is at a point in its development where the prospects for delivering long-term value are excellent," Monitise chairman Peter Ayliffe said in a press release.
Buse will lead Monitise as an independent company in a mobile banking and payment field that is getting increasingly crowded. She was previously the executive vice president of the global solutions group at Visa, a company where she spent 16 years before announcing her retirement.
Buse has often expressed her passion for the current mobile payments developments in past interviews with PaymentsSource, saying the technology has opened "markets for growth that did not exist even a few years ago."
In a statement from Monitise, Buse said, "Monitise is a great business with a unique offering. My priorities are centered on delivering value to all our stakeholders through the development and deployment of excellent products and services and to ensure that Monitise remains on track to become EBITDA profitable in FY 2016 and continues to be well positioned to deliver against its longer term goals."
In December of 2014, MasterCard, Telefonica and Santander joined to make an aggregate investment in Monitise of about $78 million, at about the same time Visa began backing off from its relationship with mobile banking company.
As far back as four years ago, Monitise was seeing the effect of expansion costs when doubling revenue in fiscal year 2011, but showing a pretax loss because of the expenses it incurred in developing new markets in Europe and Nigeria.
At that time, the company was enjoying an increase in transaction volume because of a new agreement with Visa Europe to develop and supply mobile payment technology to Visa's 4,600 member banks across 36 countries. Lukies declared 2011 as a "breakthrough year" for the company, predicting continued growth.