PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--President Barack Obama has announced he will nominate Robert O. Carr, chairman and chief executive officer of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), one of the nation’s largest payment processors, to a key post on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
The council, working through the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, advises the president on the nation's infrastructure, such as power, transportation, cyber security and other critical matters. It is composed of members appointed by President Obama who work in private industry, academia, and state and local governments.
At a time of rising cyber-attacks, Carr earned widespread praise for his response to a 2009 massive data breach of Heartland. After the attack, Heartland developed an end-to-end encryption system to protect information. The company, based here, shared its malware with competitors to protect them from similar breaches. Carr also took the lead in forming the Payments Processing Information Sharing Council, an industry group that works with law enforcement to combat cyber fraud.
“I am beyond honored to receive this appointment,” said Carr. “Protecting the privacy of our customers and advancing the security of the payments industry has been our number one priority. I'm looking forward to assisting in advising the President on issues involving the security of our nation.”
Carr has led Heartland as chairman and CEO since 1997. Prior to that, Carr was a software consultant. He founded Credit Card Software Systems, Inc. in 1987. He began his career at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. He also worked as an executive at the Bank of Illinois in Champaign. Carr received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a Master's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois.
In his book, “Through the Fires: An American Story of Turbulence, Business Triumph and Giving Back,” Carr describes his hardscrabble childhood in rural Illinois. A $250 scholarship he earned as a senior in high school inspired him decades later to establish the Give Something Back Foundation. He has contributed more than $20 million for hundreds of college scholarships for students from economically challenged backgrounds.
Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), one of the largest payment processors in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing and security technology through Heartland Secure™ and Heartland Secure Out-of-Scope solutions and its comprehensive breach warranty. Heartland also offers point of sale, mobile commerce, e-commerce, marketing solutions, payroll solutions, and related business solutions and services to more than 300,000 business and educational locations nationwide.
A FORTUNE 1000 company, Heartland is the founding supporter of the Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. Heartland also established the Sales Professional Bill of Rights to advocate for the rights of sales professionals everywhere.
On Dec. 15, 2015, Global Payments Inc., an Atlanta-based worldwide provider of payment technology services, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Heartland for $4.3 billion.