Mastercard CEO who introduced the Gold Card dies at 91

The Mastercard Gold Card was aimed at more affluent customers.  (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: Russell E Hogg, a onetime FBI agent who as Mastercard chief executive officer introduced the company’s Gold Card and led an expansion in China, has died. He was 91.

Hogg died July 16 at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, from natural causes, a representative for the family said.

Hogg led the firm now known as Mastercard Inc from 1980 to 1988, when it was owned by a group of banks and called Mastercard International.

He oversaw a period of growth at the company with the debut of the Gold Card, aimed at more-affluent customers.

Hogg also introduced a “smart card” to battle fraud and forged the deal to launch a credit card in China.

“A true icon in American business, Russ changed the course of the credit-card industry,” his family said in a statement. “He was forward-thinking, innovative and worked tirelessly to shape some of the greatest companies in the world.”

Hogg also held senior positions at American Airlines and American Express Co.

He was a former special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the family’s statement.

Born on April 28, 1928, he served in the US Navy during World War II as a 17-year-old, the family said.

He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and the University of Rhode Island.

Hogg is survived by his wife of 50 years, Dorothy; a son, Jason; and two grandchildren.