New Visa CEO snags 27% salary increase


Dive Brief:

  • When Visa CEO Ryan McInerney took the top job on Feb. 1 as part of a previously announced succession plan, his salary increased to $1.4 million, according to a regulatory disclosure on the same day. That salary was 27% higher than the $1.1 million he earned in 2022, according to Visa’s most recent proxy filing.
  • McInerney was also handed a $3 million stock equity award as part of his new compensation package disclosed in the Feb. 1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, the card network company awarded two other executives $5 million one-time stock awards, the filing said.
  • In a first-time disclosure, San Francisco-based Visa said it expanded its board from 10 to 11 members to add McInerney, according to the filing last week. Visa had announced in 2022 that McInerney would be added as a director, but didn’t say it would expand the board’s size.

Dive Insight:

Visa, the biggest card network company in the U.S., said last year that McInerney would succeed Al Kelly, who became the company’s executive chairman on Feb. 1. McInerney’s overall compensation package last year was $17.1 million, according to the December proxy filing.

In his new post, McInerney has already begun rearranging leaders at the company, promoting a handful of executives to new posts recently. Also, Visa announced in a blog post Wednesday that it has fulfilled a 2021 plan to open a new office in Atlanta, which is expected to expand from about 350 employees today to 1,000 in the next several years.

Two newly promoted executives, specifically Kelly Mahon Tullier and Rajat Taneja, were also granted $5 million “one-time performance share” awards last week.

The stock award to Tullier is related to her expanded role as vice chair, chief people and corporate affairs officer, according to the recent filing (previously, her title didn’t include the corporate affairs aspect, according to her LinkedIn profile). For Taneja, the award is tied to additional responsibilities in his role as president of technology, the filing said.

All of the stock awards will be granted on Feb. 15 and will vest on the same date in 2026, subject to Visa’s performance in the interim, according to the filing.

In Kelly’s new role, which the company called a “full-time” executive chairman position, his salary dropped to $1.25 million. Last year, Kelly’s annual salary was $1.56 million, but his overall compensation package was $28.1 million, according to the proxy.

Both McInerney and Kelly will be eligible for additional cash incentive awards that are up to six times their annual salaries. They will also both have access to the company’s corporate jet.

The two executives “will be required to use company-provided private aircraft for all business and personal air travel, provided that an independent security firm recommends such use based upon a finding of a bona fide business-oriented security concern,” the February filing said.

To the extent they use the jet for personal flights, they’ll be required to reimburse Visa for any use that amounts to more than $250,000 annually.


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