Gemplus Names President for North America as Opportunities for Smart Cards Expand in the U.S. and Canada
Ernie Berger appointed President of Gemplus North America; brings successful track records from American Express and First USA
Luxembourg, Horsham, PA, January 20, 2004–Gemplus International S.A. (Euronext: LU0121706294 – GEM and NASDAQ: GEMP), the world’s leading provider of smart card based solutions, announces the appointment of Ernie Berger as President of its North American business. The decision underscores the increasing opportunities for smart cards within the U.S. and Canadian marketplaces.
Mr. Berger brings more than 15 years of experience in the financial services sector with First USA, a Bank One company, and American Express, where he successfully launched multiple new products, managed national branding campaigns, and grew profitability. During his time at First USA, Mr. Berger served as General Manager and Head of Portfolio Marketing from 1996 to 2000 where he created and launched a new marketing business unit. In his position as Senior Vice President of Marketing for American Express’s Small Business Services, he grew sales and profits at over 15% annually. More recently, Mr. Berger was instrumental in the start-up of new business ventures, first with Walker Digital, and then through his own consulting firm, acting as a “start-up CEO”. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in New York, and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
Ernie is based in Horsham, and takes-up his responsibilities immediately.
“I look forward to leading Gemplus to realize its full potential in the critical and fast-paced North American marketplace,” said Ernie Berger. “There are a number of exciting opportunities for smart cards in North America, driven in part by U.S. government security policies, as well as the need for greater flexibility and convenience in wireless telecommunications and payment. As the industry leader, Gemplus has a strong reputation for innovation and customer service and I believe it is only a matter of time before the North American market will realize the potential this technology and Gemplus have to offer.”
Based in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, Mr. Berger will oversee all areas of Gemplus’s North American business comprised of Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Security Services Business Units. He is a member of Gemplus’s Operations Committee and reports directly to Alex Mandl, Gemplus CEO.