KBW Examines Recent Staffing Move With Mobile Payments Leader Mastercard

February 18, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Staffing moves are nothing new at large corporations, or even at small businesses. When they happen at a firm the size of Mastercard, though, they’re worth a little extra attention. That’s recently what happened in a note sent our way by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW), who recently took a look at the departure of Martina Hund-Mejean from the chief financial officer (CFO) slot, and a likewise look at her upcoming replacement, current chief financial operations officer (CFOO) Sachin Mehra.

The good news, KBW reveals, is that this won’t likely be a negative issue. Mehra has been in place since 2010, when he was group executive and treasurer, and has since been involved in several other positions throughout the company. He’s also been involved in several other companies’ financial operations, ranging from GMAC to General Motors proper.

While KBW was certainly surprised by Hund-Mejean’s departure—she is apparently retiring, so that takes many potential issues out of the mix altogether in terms of motivation—the arrival of Mehra won’t be much of an issue in response. Mehra is certainly qualified and has sufficient background in Mastercard’s operations to make for a reasonably seamless transition.

There were also several indications that Mehra had been specifically groomed for the role, and thus likely would have stepped in anyway. Thus, the worst we’re looking at here is a potentially sped-up timetable, and that doesn’t bode ill at all.

Effectively, the word from KBW says that switching horses in midstream here should only be a minor problem, if it’s a problem at all. While it’s likely a bridge too far to expect a flawless handoff—there will certainly be a few differences in Mehra’s handling of things from what Hund-Mejean would have done under similar circumstances—the flaws should be fairly minor, quickly addressed, and little more than minor hiccups along the current trajectory.

Naturally, only time will tell just what happens as a result of this move. Based on what KBW had to say, though, the departure’s happening at a good—if unexpected—time, and taking place with a person who was likely going to be taking over eventually anyway.