The Top Newsmakers of 2022: Stephanie Ferris

From new CEOs at some of the city’s largest companies to the death of a giant in the fight for civil rights, these are people who made headlines in Northeast Florida.

  • By Mark Basch
  • | 12:00 a.m. December 27, 2022
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
Stephanie Ferris
Stephanie Ferris
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Stephanie Ferris

The new CEO of FIS becomes the 45th woman leading a Fortune 500 company.

Stephanie Ferris assumed the role of chief executive of Fidelity National Information Services Inc., or FIS, on Dec. 16, a move that put her in exclusive company.

Before her appointment, only 44 women held the role of CEO of a Fortune 500 company, according to a report by the Women Business Collaborative, Ascend, C200 and Catalyst.

Ferris, 49, has earned her way to the top by working for 28 years in the financial technology industry.

She was chief financial officer of Worldpay Inc. when Jacksonville-based FIS acquired the Cincinnati-based payments technology company in 2019.

She became chief operating officer of financial technology company FIS after the merger and led the integration of Worldpay’s operations into FIS.

Ferris left the company in September 2020, when the integration was complete, but rejoined FIS as chief administrative officer in September 2021.

She was promoted to president of the company in January 2022, putting her in line to succeed Gary Norcross as chief executive.

“Few companies can match FIS’ rich, stellar history, industry-best breadth and scale, and focus on innovation. We are uniquely positioned to chart the course for fintech innovation, and thanks to the confidence placed in me by Gary and FIS’ Board of Directors, I’m incredibly excited to lead the company into its future,” Ferris said in an Oct. 18 news release announcing her appointment.

FIS announced in October that Ferris would succeed Norcross as CEO on Jan. 1, with Norcross assuming the role of executive chairman. The company announced Dec. 15 that Norcross is leaving the company entirely, and Ferris became CEO the next day.

Ferris takes over at a challenging time for FIS. The company opened its 12-story, 300,000-square-foot headquarters at 347 Riverside Ave. just six days before the leadership transition was announced, suggesting a period of growth.

However, two weeks after the announcement, FIS announced disappointing third-quarter earnings, and Ferris said in her first conference call as incoming CEO that the company was looking to cut $500 million in annual expenses.

“Given the changing macro environment, the persistence of inflationary cost pressures and the resulting impacts to margin and free cash flow, we are taking immediate action to permanently reduce the cost structure of the company via our enterprise transformation program,” she said.



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