MasterCard Worldwide continues its realignment of top executives, most notably with last week’s announcement of the pending departure of emerging-payments head Josh Peirez and a new executive appointed to lead the card network’s franchise development.

MasterCard on July 30 announced the promotion of Ed McLaughlin to chief emerging payments officer from group executive for MasterCard’s franchise development group.

McLaughlin joined MasterCard in 2005 from Metavante Corp., where he served as group vice president of product and strategy. Before that he was cofounder and CEO of Paytrust, an online payments company.

MasterCard has also promoted Ellen Simon to chief franchise development officer from group executive and senior associate general counsel. Simon joined MasterCard in 1999.

The moves are the latest in a series of executive changes following MasterCard’s naming of Ajay Banga as president and CEO on July 1, observers say. MasterCard in August 2009 appointed Banga president and chief operating officer. He previously was chief of Citigroup Inc.’s Asia Pacific operations. MasterCard soon afterward began introducing several new executives into new roles.

The company on July 12 named Carlos Menendez to the new role of group executive, global debit. Menendez previously was chief operating officer for Citigroup’s Western Europe operations. Richard (Rick) G. Lyons Jr., MasterCard senior vice president, global product management and development, debit and prepaid programs, left the company late last year.

In May, MasterCard appointed Andrew Ong group head of person-to-person payments, a new post. Ong previously was a regional vice president and managing director at Western Union.

In April, MasterCard unveiled a new research-and-development facility, MasterCard Labs, headed by Garry Lyons, former CEO of Orbiscom (see story).

“Banga’s focus has been on technology and international markets, so it is natural for him to surround himself with people with deep backgrounds in the disciplines where MasterCard wants to grow,” Brian Riley, research director with TowerGroup, tells PaymentsSource.

 Riley expects to see more high-level appointments as MasterCard refocuses its efforts to face competition on new fronts. “MasterCard will be fending off a whole new series of battles in emerging payments, and you can expect he wants to raise the level of competencies for his direct staff,” Riley says.

Peirez, 39, who served most recently as the company’s chief innovation officer, is leaving Aug. 18 to pursue undisclosed outside business opportunities, MasterCard says.

Peirez rose to that role after the company in 2007 named him chief payment system integrity officer. Before that he was group executive of global public policy and associate general counsel.

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