AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EZCORP, Inc. (Nasdaq: EZPW) announced today that it has formed an e-Commerce and Card Services division to focus dedicated, specialized resources on online lending and other digital forms of commerce. This new division, which will be located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, has also assumed overall product management responsibility for the Change Card, the company's general purpose integrated and reloadable debit card.
Brent Turner has joined the company as President of this new division, reporting directly to Paul Rothamel, Chief Executive Officer. Until earlier this year, Mr. Turner was Vice President of Retail Financial Services at Rent-A-Center, where he led the development of a chain of financial service centers offering a variety of financial services such as check cashing, short-term loans, installment loans, signature loans, tax services and stored value cards, as well as an online channel. Prior to joining Rent-A-Center in 2005, Mr. Turner was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Herring Bancorp (2003-2005) and held various positions with Ace Cash Express (1998-2003).
At the same time, the company is enhancing its brick-and-mortar network of pawn stores and consumer loan stores with the addition of two seasoned executives, each reporting to Eric Fosse, President of North American Operations.Barry Guest has joined the company as President, U.S. Retail Operations and is responsible for driving the short and long-term profitability of the company's U.S. pawn business. Prior to joining EZCORP, Mr. Guest spent 20 years at Blockbuster Canada Co., serving the last three years as Vice President & General Manager, where he oversaw the successful operation of 450 stores with over 6,500 employees. James "Jimmy" Whatley has joined the company as President, U.S. Financial Services and is responsible for growing the core business in the U.S. and enhancing profitability through the implementation of new products and services. Prior to joining EZCORP, Mr. Whatley spent two years as Senior Vice President – Sales and Retail Operations for Direct General Insurance; eleven years with Blockbuster, Inc. in various positions, including Head of Global Franchise and International Corporate Operations; and seven years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Advance America Cash Advance Centers, Inc.