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Citigroup Asia head to take role at MasterCard

Citigroup's Asia head, Ajay Banga, will join MasterCard Worldwide as its president and chief operating officer, the latest in a series of high-profile departures from Citigroup.

The appointment puts Banga in line to become the chief executive officer of the world's second-largest credit card network.

"While this was not the appointment of a CEO-successor this was certainly the appointment of someone who fits in to a very thoughtful succession plan for the company," MasterCard spokesman Harvey Greisman said.

Banga, 49, can leave the company with his up-front compensation intact if he is not offered an opportunity by June 30, 2010 to succeed Robert Selander as CEO of MasterCard.

Selander, who has led MasterCard since April 1997 and oversaw a high-profile public listing of the company in 2006, will relinquish the title of president to Banga when he joins the firm on August 31.

MasterCard will pay Banga a US$4.2 million sign-on bonus and US$4.9 million in restricted stock grants, according to a regulatory filing.

Banga, 49, led a major reorganization of Citigroup's Asian operations last August that gave regional heads increased authority across the bank's sprawling product lines.

He received about US$10 million in compensation in 2008 from Citigroup, making him one of the firm's highest-paid executives.

He was appointed Asia chief in March 2008. Previously, Citigroup did not have a region-wide chief executive for its Asia-Pacific business.


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