Capital One Shifts Card Team as Walmart Bid Hangs in the Balance

(Bloomberg) -- Capital One Financial Corp. is shuffling senior managers in its credit-card partnership unit as the firm competes for Walmart Inc.’s business.

Jimmy Cannon, executive vice president of the U.S. partnerships business, will leave the bank, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. His two lieutenants -- Bruce Sibley, head of business development for the partnerships unit, and Nia Evans, head of co-brand partnerships -- also plan to depart.

Capital One is in the final stages of bidding to wrest away Walmart’s co-brand and private-label business from Synchrony Financial, the largest portfolio up for grabs at the moment. While Cannon had been involved in the process, Capital One created a separate team to work on the Walmart effort, a person familiar with the matter said, potentially diminishing the effect of the departures on that bid.

Buck Stinson, who leads Capital One’s small-business credit-card efforts, will assume Cannon’s role in August, according to the memo from Mike Wassmer, president of the U.S. cards business. Tatiana Stead, a spokeswoman for Capital One, declined to comment.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank has said he’s concerned private-label and co-brand credit-card deals are becoming too competitive as issuers seek to sign lucrative agreements with retailers. The firm has nevertheless expanded in the business in recent years, including the $32.7 billion purchase of HSBC Holdings Plc’s store cards, which was completed in 2012.

“I have been so struck by, at times, how high the pricing goes here and at other times how good the opportunity is,” Fairbank told investors at a conference in February. “You’ve got to be selective.”

Cannon joined Capital One from JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2014, and Sibley joined a year later from Mastercard Inc. The two were instrumental in securing a credit-card portfolio last year from Cabela’s Inc. after the outdoor-equipment retailer was sold to Bass Pro Shops. Evans joined in 2015 from Synchrony and oversaw Capital One’s existing co-brand partners.

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