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Charles W. Scharf (born 24 April 1965, New York City) is an American businessman who was the chief executive officer of Visa Inc., the current CEO of BNY Mellon and a member of the Microsoft board of directors.
Scharf received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from New York University. In 1987, barely out of college, Scharf was the youngest professional employee at Commercial Credit Corp. The first person the company had hired directly from college in years, Scharf was in fact still a senior at Johns Hopkins University when he started working there part-time, having sent his résumé to Jamie Dimon through family connections. Six months into the job he was named Dimon’s assistant and “included in every meeting, learning broadly about business and how decisions get made.
As much as Scharf has been mentored by the leading lights of his industry, he has developed a philosophy of his own. In part, that was shaped by his Executive MBA from Stern, which he completed in 1991 and, he said, helped put his work experience into perspective. “In my experience,” he reflected, “good business is all about stepping back, asking questions, and accumulating the expertise to make the best decisions, whether those are business decisions or people decisions.
Prior to joining Visa in November of 2012, Scharf was the CEO of Retail Financial Services for JPMorgan Chase & Co. for nine years from July 2004 until June of 2011. He was also the managing director of One Equity Partners, JPMorgan's private investment section. He was the CEO and CFO at Bank One Corp. prior to his work at JPMorgan Chase & Co from 2000 to 2002. From 1999 to 2000, he was the CFO of the Global Corporate and Investment Bank division at Citigroup, Inc. From 1995 to 1999 he was the CFO at Salomon Smith Barney. He began his career as Dimon's assistant at Commercial Credit in the late 1980s.
Scharf, at age 48, took over as the company's CEO in November 2012, succeeded Joseph Saunders. He was also appointed as a board member after increasing the size of the board to eleven members from ten. He has more than 25 years of financial services, payments systems and leadership experience. He was also a director of Visa and its predecessor, Visa U.S.A., from 2003 to 2011. Payments technology company Visa, Inc. (V) revealed in a regulatory filing on Friday that Chief Executive Officer Charles Scharf received a 2013 total compensation of $24.20 million, including base salary, stock grants and incentives in 2013.
Scharf is earning praise from analysts and insiders for breaking with tradition. He has made Visa, No. 238 on the Fortune 500 with $11.8 billion in revenue, more open to merchants and tech innovation. He oversees a network with 2.2 billion cards accepted by 36 million merchants globally. And he has done it with little flash: He mostly avoids press; sources describe him as “all-business.”
On February 26, 2014 President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate individuals to key Administration posts amongst which was Charles W. Scharf, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.
He is currently on the Executive Council for UCSF Health and the Board of Directors for Microsoft Corp.
On October 17, 2016, Scharf advised his Board of Directors that he can no longer spend enough time in San Francisco "to do the job effectively". He announced that he would step down on December 1.
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- Sudarshan Varadhan; Anya George Tharakan (October 17, 2016). "Visa CEO Charles Scharf to resign, ex-AmEx president to take over". Reuters. Retrieved November 28, 2017.