- Payments company ACI Worldwide has fired its chief technology officer, Ram Puppala, the company said Wednesday.
- Coral Gables, Florida-based ACI notified Puppala May 11 that his employment with the company would end June 30, according to a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It provided no further explanation for the dismissal.
- Puppala will receive his current salary and benefits through the end of June, and will be eligible for severance and medical continuation benefits under the company’s severance pay plan, the filing said. Puppala’s total compensation last year amounted to $3.03 million, including a $410,000 base salary, according to the company’s most recent proxy filing.
Puppala had been with the company since 2021, according to ACI’s website. Prior to joining ACI, he was the chief digital officer at Metropolitan Commercial Bank, where he led the digital payments product unit. He also held technology-related roles at payments processor Fiserv. Puppala couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
ACI is working with an executive search firm to find “experienced, innovative candidates” to fill the role, a spokesperson for the company said Wednesday.
“Ram helped launch many of our technology modernization efforts, and we thank him for his contributions,” said ACI Spokesperson Nick Karoglou in an email. “ACI’s strategic priorities will not change. Our leadership believes we need new perspective, ideas and methods to further accelerate our technology strategy.”
Puppala’s firing occurs just weeks before the planned launch of FedNow, the federal government’s new real-time payments system. ACI, along with payments companies such as Fiserv and Jack Henry & Associates, has been testing and piloting that new real-time service in recent months.
ACI said Tuesday it has completed testing and certification for the instant payments service, which is set to launch in July. Corporate One Federal Credit Union will be ACI’s “initial partner to integrate instant payment services on FedNow,” reaching credit unions across the U.S., ACI said in a Tuesday news release.
The company is also in the process of finding a new CEO. In November, ACI fired its CEO, Odilon Almeida. Since then, Thomas Warsop, previously ACI’s board chairman, has been acting as interim CEO. During the company’s first-quarter earnings call May 4, Warsop indicated a permanent CEO would be named soon.
“After reviewing and meeting with a number of promising candidates, the board is in the final stages of the selection process and expects to complete the search in the upcoming weeks,” Warsop said during the call with analysts.