Melissa Smith is the Chair, CEO, and President of WEX, and the galvanizing force that has transformed the company into a global leader in financial technology solutions with the unified purpose of “Simplifying the business of running a business.”
Melissa joined WEX in 1997 and has filled a variety of leadership roles, including serving as CFO during the company’s IPO in 2005, becoming CEO in 2014, and Chair in 2019.
Under her leadership, WEX has diversified from a U.S.-based fleet card provider to a global B2B payments company offering enterprise solutions for corporate health benefits, corporate payments, and commercial fleet mobility. Revenue has tripled during her tenure as CEO, from $818 million to $2.4 billion in 2022. Today, WEX has a presence on five continents and approximately 7,000 employees worldwide.
With an outstanding track record of performance and growth, Melissa’s leadership and cultural values are informed from growing up on a farm in a town with a population of approximately 400. Known for her bold but measured decision-making, Melissa has integrated cutting-edge technologies and functionality into WEX’s product mix, from artificial intelligence to electric vehicle (EV) payments, as WEX has become a robust global commerce engine.
Melissa’s insights have been featured by news outlets such as Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal and via speaking engagements with the Women in Payments Symposium and The FORTUNE CEO Initiative. Melissa ranked #12 on the 2023 Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 list, with leaders from DraftKings, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, The Engine, HubSpot, Wayfair, and Amazon Robotics.
Melissa was a 2023 inductee into the Deborah Morton Society by the University of New England; was awarded a 2023 Globee® Award for Women in Business and a 2023 Stevie® Award for Women in Business; was named among Payments Source’s 2019 and 2014 Most Influential Women in Payments, PYMNTS.COM’s 2014 Most Innovative Women in Payments, and Mainebiz’s 2012 Women to Watch; and was awarded the Girl Scouts of Maine’s 2013 Woman of Distinction.
Melissa serves on the board of directors for Equifax (NYSE: EFX) and carries her “win-win” ethos into community service, currently on the volunteer board for MaineHealth and previously on the volunteer board for the Center for Grieving Children. She has also been active with the United Way and recently envisioned the development of little free libraries for elementary students.
A former USA Triathlon (USAT) certified coach, she has completed three Half Ironmans, the Beach to Beacon 10K, as well as the Chicago Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Disney World Marathon. Melissa has been involved with the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Tri for a Cure since its inception, annually competing alongside her WEX colleagues in the fundraising triathlon, and is cofounder of the Executive Women’s Forum and sheJAMs, an organization that fosters an atmosphere where women can train together noncompetitively.
Melissa earned a bachelor’s in business administration and was awarded an honorary doctorate, both from the University of Maine. She and her husband have three young children.