The recent loss of Ed Gilligan at American Express has spurred CEO Ken Chenault to make major changes. The changes include the realignment of several businesses and reporting lines.
From Ken Chenault:
• Steve Squeri will take on responsibility for OPEN, led by Denise Pickett, and Enterprise Growth, led by Neal Sample, in addition to his current responsibilities overseeing Global Corporate Payments and the Global Services Group, the company’s shared services organization. These additional responsibilities are a reflection of Steve’s strong track record in leading several of our businesses over his 30-year Amex career and will broaden his experience in some key areas of our company. Steve, who reports to me, will also continue to work with me on a wide range of priorities across the enterprise. In recognition of his expanded role, Steve will be promoted to Vice Chairman of American Express Company.
• Doug Buckminster, President of Global Network and International Card Services, will take on responsibility for One Europe, led by Pierric Beckert, in addition to his current responsibilities. Doug will report to me.
• Josh Silverman, President of Consumer Products & Services, will report to me.
• Anré Williams, President of Global Merchant Services, will report to me.
• John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, will take on additional responsibility for the Digital Partnerships and Development team, led by Leslie Berland, and is changing the name of his group to Global Brand, Marketing and Digital Partnerships to reflect its expanded scope. John continues to report to me.
• Paul Fabara, President of Global Banking and the Global Network Business, will be elected an officer of the company and will report to me, reflecting the crucial role the banks play in how we operate our businesses.
• The remainder of my current direct reports will continue reporting to me.
Over the coming weeks, the heads of the staff groups will assess the impact of this realignment on the support they provide the businesses and make any changes, as needed.
Following is some context for the changes I’m announcing today:
Business-to-business payments is one of the company’s largest and most attractive growth opportunities. Bringing OPEN — the leading small business payments provider in the U.S. – closer together with Global Corporate Payments – the leader in providing payments and expense management solutions to mid-sized and large businesses around the world – under Steve’s leadership will help us identify ways to best leverage the strengths of each organization to capitalize on those opportunities. In doing so, our focus will be on meeting the payments needs of businesses through all stages of their growth, from start up to multinational corporation.
We created Enterprise Growth as a separate business unit five years ago to help us become a leader in the world of emerging payments. Since that time, the team has taken Revolution Money, the start-up, peer-to-peer payments company that we acquired in 2010, and evolved it into the multi-functional Serve software platform that powers our Bluebird and Serve products, making the American Express brand more welcoming and inclusive for a whole new segment of customers. Enterprise Growth is primarily a technology-driven business, and, under Steve’s leadership, Neal and the team will continue to focus on building the business while we also create opportunities for greater synergies with other platforms in the company.
Our international businesses represent tremendous growth opportunities for the company and are key to our overall success. We created the One Europe organization earlier this year to reflect the unique challenges and opportunities of that region, and we’ve made very good progress in a short time. Doug is one of our most experienced international executives, and bringing the European business under his leadership will help ensure we continue the momentum that Pierric and his team have established. I will be working directly with Doug and his team as we continue to execute our international growth strategy going forward.
As I have said on many occasions, we are pursuing a broad range of growth opportunities against the backdrop of a challenging business environment. None are more critical than our U.S. Consumer and Global Merchant Services businesses. Josh and Anré have strong teams and strategies in place to drive their businesses forward and deal with the challenges we face.
Our U.S. Consumer business is one of our largest, most prominent businesses, and it’s one that continues to have significant growth opportunities. At the same time, the competitive landscape continues to intensify, and the digital revolution is changing the behavior and expectations of customers and prospects. I will be working closely with Josh and his team to help ensure we continue to grow our U.S. Card and global Travel & Lifestyle Services businesses as we expand our product offerings and deepen customer loyalty to meet the evolving needs of customers and prospects.
Our merchant network is the backbone of our business, connecting buyers and sellers around the globe and delivering value to both. Expanding the network is a key priority, one that Anré and his team will continue to focus on through innovative approaches, such as OptBlue and a number of other initiatives. At the same time, the team will continue their work on dealing with regulatory and legal challenges in several regions around the world. I will be working closely with Anré and his team to continue our progress in expanding welcome acceptance across all merchant categories and segments in an evolving regulatory environment.
American Express is widely recognized for its marketing expertise, and we have been at the forefront in adapting our traditional strengths for the digital age. In addition, as technology continues to impact every aspect of our business, we must build on the momentum we have established in creating innovative partnerships with some of the most iconic digital players. Leslie will report to John in an expanded role that will enable us to continue our leadership in bringing innovative digital products and services to market, while also creating synergies to strengthen our overall marketing capabilities and help drive growth across our businesses as the worlds of online and offline commerce converge. John will communicate details of this approach in the coming weeks.
Our Global Banking Group plays a central role in our business. Ensuring we have the right governance infrastructure in place to conduct our businesses in strict compliance with regulatory requirements is a fundamental obligation to our customers and our shareholders. What’s more, it is critical to delivering on our brand promise of trust, security and service. The linkages between our banks and our businesses are strong, and I will work with Paul and his team to continue our sharp focus on this key priority. Additionally, we’ll continue our focus on developing our global network capabilities to enable our Card Members to use their American Express Cards seamlessly and securely, wherever they are in the world.
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