Paysafe Group on Thursday capped a recent restructuring of its payment-processing unit with the appointment of a chief executive for the unit’s U.S. acquiring division.
Afshin Yazdian on July 1 will take over the division, one of two businesses formed with the splitting of the company’s payment-processing unit. Paysafe also announced the retirement of payments-industry veteran O.B. Rawls, who had headed the global payment processing division and will leave at the end of the month. London-based Paysafe earlier selected Paulette Rowe to be chief executive of the other division, the global e-commerce and integrated solutions unit.
Yazdian, an acquiring-industry veteran of more than two decades, comes to Paysafe from Priority Payments Systems, where he was president. Prior positions include president and chief executive of Cynergy Data, which in 2014 merged with Priority Payments. Earlier, he worked for iPayment as executive vice president and general counsel. Paysafe in 2018 acquired iPayment, where Rawls was president and chief executive.
Top management at Paysafe stressed the value of Yazdian’s long experience in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “We’re delighted to complete our executive leadership team in payment processing with the appointment of Afshin,” said Philip McHugh, Paysafe Group’s chief executive, in a statement. “The current Covid-19 outbreak poses significant challenges for our direct-merchant customers as well as our [independent sales organization] and agent partners, and we’re confident that Afshin, with his track record of building and managing high-growth organizations, and his laser focus on customer service, will ensure that we all emerge stronger as the market stabilizes.”
For his part, Yazdian hinted at a rapid growth strategy for the acquiring unit. “We will strive to rapidly change the payments industry and become the leading provider of payment solutions in the U.S.,” he said in a statement.
Rowe, meanwhile, comes to Paysafe from Facebook Inc., where she served as head of payments and financial-services partnerships. Her experience also includes a stint at Barclaycard.
The departure of Rawls caps a distinguished career of more than four decades in payments. Before iPayment and Paysafe, Rawls served in executive positions at First Data North America, Tasq, Hypercom, and Bank of America Merchant Solutions.