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MasterCard Bets on Murphy

Stocks in this article: MAVAXP

Editor's note: This story was part of TheStreet's 10-part Top Business Leaders of Tomorrow series.

PURCHASE, N.Y. ( TheStreet) - MasterCard's (MA) Chief Product Officer, Tim Murphy, isn't who you would think to be the executive in charge of overseeing the payment firm's major product lines.

Murphy, 43, is a securities lawyer by trade. His first position at MasterCard, back in 2000, was as the firm's senior counsel. Murphy spent his first six years at MasterCard in its legal department, serving in various positions and was intimately involved in the company's successful IPO in 2006.

MasterCard
Tim Murphy, MasterCard's Chief Product Officer

But something happened shortly after that. MasterCard management moved Murphy into more strategic roles. Clearly, Murphy's strong team building skills, ability to be diplomatic as a manager and strong forward-thinking abilities helped his case. In essence, MasterCard placed a large bet on the lawyer. And it seems the bet is paying off.

More Top Leaders: J.C. Penney's Steven Lawrence >>

Among those roles, Murphy was placed as head of the company's U.S. region, where he was in charge of MasterCard's business building in the U.S. He became Chief Product Officer in December 2008, the company says.

The payments industry "continues to be an enormous growth opportunity. Largely because most of the payments made in the world today are still cash," Murphy said in an interview last week with TheStreet. "My job is to take the base part of the business, things we've been doing for a long time and just continue to drive them because waves of growth are so strong and the opportunity is so significant ... I think of myself as kind of defending the base and continuing to grow the base."

Murphy continued: "Other colleagues are out trying to do new and different things. My job is to make sure that the revenues coming in today keep coming in and the good news is the trends are so strong globally that the wind's at our back."

Murphy is in charge of MasterCard's core products - in consumer credit, all of the firm's credit products globally, signature and pin-based debit cards, prepaid cards as well as commercial payments, which includes corporate and small business. Murphy is also in charge of MasterCard's Integrated Processing Solutions business. IPS is the firm's debit and prepaid issuer processing platform.

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