Ajaypal “Ajay” Singh Banga (born 1960) is the current president and chief executive officer of MasterCard.MasterCard announced on April 12, 2010 that Ajay Banga, previously MasterCards president and chief operating officer, had been named by the Board of Directors to serve as the companys president and chief executive officer, effective July 1, 2010. The company also announced that Banga would become a member of MasterCards Board of Directors, effective immediately.
Banga, 50, succeeded Robert W. Selander, who had been MasterCards chief executive officer since March 1997.
On Thursday, February 5, 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Banga to serve as a Member of the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Presently, he is also the chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) representing more than three hundred of the largest international companies investing in India. He is also a member of board of directors of the Dow Chemical Company; member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and member of International Business Council of the World Economic Forum.
The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2016.
Born into a SainiSikh family in Khadki, Pune, Maharashtra in India where his father, an army officer, was posted. The family’s origin is from Jalandhar in Punjab. His father is retired lieutenant-general Harbhajan Singh Banga who is a decorated army general of Indian Army. He is also the younger brother of another well-known CEO M. S. Banga.
Beginning his business career with Nestlé in 1981, Banga spent the next 13 years working in jobs spanning sales, marketing, and general management. He later joined PepsiCo and was involved in the launch of its international fast food franchises in India as the economy liberalized.
Banga was vice chairman of the board of trustees of the New York Hall of Science and a board member of the National Urban League. He was formerly a business sponsor of Citi’s African heritage network NYC.
Banga has a keen interest in social development issues, and over the period from 2005 to mid-2009, he spearheaded Citi’s strategy in the microfinance sector across the world.
Banga, was the keynote speaker at the NYU Stern 2014 Graduate Convocation on May 22, 2014, where he spoke about the importance of diversity in driving innovation and leadership. He also was a keynote speaker for his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, during the Class of 2015’s convocation.