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Mastercard is ramping up hiring, says CFO

July 29, 2022, 11:20 AM UTC
In this photo illustration there are three Mastercard Credit Cards. The branding and marketing logo of a financial company. Business related conceptual image.
In this photo illustration there are three Mastercard Credit Cards. The branding and marketing logo of a financial company. Business related conceptual image.
Roberto Machado Noa—LightRocket/Getty Images

Good morning,

This week I’ve been speaking with CFOs on consumer spending and the economy. Today, it’s Mastercard’s turn in the hot seat.

“From an overall macro standpoint, there are both positives and negatives,” Mastercard CFO Sachin Mehra told me after the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call. “On the negative side you are certainly seeing persistent inflation, fairly meaningful rises in interest rates, and candidly, there is still what I would call geopolitical uncertainty.”

“On the positive side, what we see is high levels of consumer savings, very low unemployment rates, and rising wage levels, all of which are supportive to consumer spending,” he says. “Everything we’ve seen thus far from a consumer spending standpoint shows a high degree of resilience. And in cross-border travel also we’re seeing good improvements take place. Cross border travel in Q2 reached 118% of 2019 levels.”

Mehra also added: “The trend we see, independent of the economic cycle, is one towards greater digitization. So, more and more people are moving away from cash to electronic forms of payment.” 

Mastercard’s second-quarter net income increased to $2.3 billion from $2.07 billion in the year-earlier period. The company expects operating expenses to “grow at the low end of a low double-digit rate on a currency-neutral basis, (excluding acquisitions and special items),” Mehra says. This reflects the continued investment in people, he says.

“We’re growing our business,” Mehra says. “And growth basically means we’re investing in new areas and building new capabilities.”

He continued, “The talent market is hot. We’re out there hiring on a regular basis at a fairly healthy clip, which is calling for an increase in our personnel line.”

When it comes to employee bonuses, Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach announced in April that achieving environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals will factor into bonus calculations for all employees. Last year, it was only linked to the compensation of senior executives, EVPs and above. The company “either met or exceeded our goals,” and now employees will all take the company’s “shared accountability and progress to the next level,” Miebach said in April. The initiative is now active and has been implemented across the company, Mehra told me.

I asked him if ESG matters are becoming more central to his role as CFO. “Absolutely,” he says.


Some news: On Monday, August 1, Fortune is launching CHRO Daily, a newsletter for HR executives, that will delve into news, analyses, trends, and best practices. The newsletter will be helmed by Amber Burton. Sign up here to receive CHRO Daily in your inbox.

Enjoy your weekend. Take care.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Big deal

EY’s Center for Board Matters has published a new report that examines key takeaways from the 2022 proxy season. One takeaway is environmental and social shareholder proposal activity went up with a flood of more prescriptive proposals, however, support became more targeted. Last year, in the S&P 1500, there were 147 environmental and social proposals voted on and 29 received the majority of support. Meanwhile, in 2022, they were 249 votes on and just 31 received majority support, according to the report. EY also found that companies addressed investors’ call for clarity around how ESG matters are included in the work of the board and its committees. For instance, almost two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies cited ESG or sustainability as a director qualification this year, up from 51% in 2020, according to EY.

Courtesy of EY

Going deeper

Here are a few good weekend reads:

4 stocks to buy that are worth the risk in a recession, according to a top portfolio manager at Nuveen by Anne Sraders

Alibaba is at the center of a huge Hong Kong-Wall Street realignment by Yvonne Lau

Low-wage employees report high levels of financial stress—and it’s impacting their productivity at work by Megan Leonhardt

How adding a houseplant to your workspace can boost your mood and productivity by Alexa Mikhail 

Leaderboard

Some notable moves from this past week:

Susan Li was promoted to CFO at Meta Platforms, Inc. (Nasdaq: META). Current CFO David Wehner will take on a new role as the tech company’s first chief strategy officer, where he will oversee strategy and corporate development. Li has served as the VP of finance at Meta since 2008. She previously was an analyst at Morgan Stanley. 

Chris DeAlmeida was named CFO at Wrap Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: WRAP), a public safety technologies and services company. DeAlmeida replaces Jim Barnes, who is retiring as CFO. DeAlmeida joins Wrap from his current role as CFO at Encore. Earlier in his career, he was the CFO for six years and held such titles as treasurer, and EVP for Orion Group Holdings (NYSE: ORN).

Daphne Huang was named CFO at Gorilla Technology Group Inc. (Nasdaq: GRRR) an artificial intelligence company. Huang will succeed Gorilla’s retiring principal financial officer Stardi Yen. Huang most recently served as CFO of Go-For Industries Inc., a technology platform-based logistics company, and prior to that, as CFO and chief accounting officer of Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., a NYSE-listed global pharmaceutical company. 

Mehul Joshi was named CFO at Berkeley Lights, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLI), digital cell biology, effective immediately. Joshi previously served in several senior finance and accounting roles at ResMed Incorporated, most recently as SVP of finance and head of Global FP&A. At ResMed. Joshi served in leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Gilead Sciences. 

John E. Warch was named EVP and CFO at Sachem Capital Corp. (NYSE American: SACH), effective August 1. John Villano, CPA, who previously served as both CEO and CFO, will continue to serve as the company’s CEO. Before joining Sachem, Warch served as CFO, SVP and treasurer at Four Springs Capital Trust. Before that, he was a senior consultant at David Landau & Associates, LLC. Warch also served as SVP and chief accounting officer at CapLease, Inc.

Overheard

"We've entered a new phase in our recovery, focused on achieving steady stable growth without sacrificing the gains of the last 18 months. We know there are challenges ahead of us. Growth is slowing globally, inflation remains unacceptably high, and it's this administration's top priority to bring it down."

—U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a press conference on Thursday. 

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