- Payment technology provider Stax Payments has named Paulette Rowe its new CEO, the Orlando, Florida-based company said in a Tuesday press release. She was previously CEO of the integrated and e-commerce solutions division at London-based Paysafe, which offers digital payments internationally.
- Rowe replaces interim CEO John Kristel, who stepped into the role in January when Stax’s sibling founders exited as co-CEOs with little explanation. Kristel was previously an operating partner at the company’s controlling investor, Greater Sum Ventures, and will resume that role, according to the release.
- Stax was founded in 2014 by sister-brother duo Suneera Madhani and Sal Rehmetullah. Madhani in particular gained prominence as a female CEO of the paytech unicorn, being featured in business media reports by Forbes and Bloomberg.
Rowe was chosen following an “extensive” global search, the company said in the release. Prior to her post at Paysafe, she had held roles at Barclays, Meta, Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest and GE Capital.
As CEO, Rowe will focus on growth and operational strategies across the company’s payments and software portfolio, the release said.
Rowe’s appointment makes her one of the few Black CEOs in payments. Madhani has railed against the lack of diversity in the industry, pointing to a need for more women and people of color, including in executive roles.
Since its founding, Stax has processed about $30 billion in payments, according to the release. About 30,000 businesses globally use the company’s payments technology, with large and small businesses and software platforms processing payments through the company’s platform.
Stax has raised $245 million in investments, leading to its $1 billion-plus valuation last year. It benefited from a rabid appetite among investors in recent years for funding fintechs, particularly those in the payments arena. The company also made acquisitions of industry peers, including Payment Depot, Fusebill (now Stax Bill) and CardX.
A month after the sibling founders left their co-CEO roles at Stax, the company reportedly cut about two dozen employees, according to a report from an American City Business Journals outlet.