FOSTER CITY, CA — Visa Chief Communications Officer Paul Cohen will be retiring after 17 years with the financial services giant.

Cohen, one of PRovoke Media’s Influence 100, told PRovoke Media he will be departing Visa in September, noting that it’s “time for a long break and some travel.”

Cohen’s exit will come roughly five and a half years after he joined Visa for a second time  from PayPal to oversee communications. As CCO, Cohen has led communications surrounding Visa’s response to Russia’s war on Ukraine and positioning Visa as more than a credit card company.

“Over the past five-and-a-half years, Paul has expanded the impact and influence of the Communications function. The team he formed has helped mitigate serious issues, elevate Visa’s reputation, as well as improve employees’ understanding and appreciation for our vision, mission, and purpose,” Kelly Mahon Tullier, Visa’s chief people and administrative officer, said in a letter to staff. 

“A few recent highlights include enhancing employee connectivity and engagement throughout the pandemic; managing communications following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and launching programs supporting women and minority-owned small businesses, including the She’s Next initiative,” Tullier wrote.

During his two years at PayPal, Cohen established the company’s first corporate communications function, managed communications related to its separation from eBay and public listing and oversaw PayPal's culture change initiative focusing on wellness, collaboration, innovation and inclusion.

Cohen led communications related to Visa’s global restructuring and IPO, the largest in US history at the time, during his first 11-year tenure with the company.

Visa already has launched a search for Cohen’s replacement, with the goal of making for a “smooth transition,” Tullier said