Providian was consistently one of the top performers in the financial services sector (and in the S&P 500) until a fast-moving series of events in 2001 put the company at risk of insolvency. In early 2002 a new CEO and management team came in and began taking drastic action to stabilize the company, including cutting the workforce by more than half, closing two service centers, and implementing strict cost reduction measures. The Company now has about 5,000 employees, ranging from call center employees who are paid by the hour and do not have access to email (relying primarily on their managers for information about the company) to salaried employees in the San Francisco Bay Area, who are better educated and fairly cynical.

   The opportunity is to reposition Providian in the marketplace as a new and different kind of credit card company that’s focused on serving mainstream