The chief communications officer of Visa Inc. will leave the company at the end of May as part of the card network's merger of its corporate relations and marketing departments.

The departure of Doug Michelman, who first joined the Foster City, Calif.-based company as executive vice president of corporate relations of Visa USA in January 2003, comes six months after former JPMorgan Chase executive Charlie Scharf succeeded Joseph Saunders as Visa's CEO and four months after the announcement that President John Partridge would retire at the end of March.

As part of the reorganization, Visa has combined its public relations and marketing functions into a newly renamed "brand team," led by Visa Chief Brand Officer Antonio Lucio.

"These changes reflect our focus on ensuring an aligned, consistent and cohesive Visa Inc. story as well as drive Visa's commitment to strengthening our engagement and reputation with external clients, key stakeholders and influencers," Visa said in a emailed statement.

As chief communications officer, Michelman has been responsible for the company's media and industry analyst relations, public affairs and communications with bank, merchant and employee stakeholders. Before joining Visa, Michelman was a regional president and senior partner at public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard—a company that's expected to continue serving as one of Visa's outside PR agencies, as the internal reorganization has not impacted its external agency relationships.

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