The following announcement was distributed today to American Express employees.
|Date:||December 4, 2013|
|Subject:||GENERAL COUNSEL'S ORGANIZATION UPDATE|
Earlier this year, I wrote to you about Louise Parent’s decision to retire and our resulting plans to conduct a wide-ranging search for her successor as General Counsel. Given the critical nature of this position, we recognized that finding the right person would take time. Louise graciously agreed to delay her retirement in order to help with the transition. I am very grateful to her for accommodating us, but because the search for a successor is likely to take some additional time, I don’t want to ask Louise to further delay her retirement plans. In light of this, I have asked Tim Heine, one of our most accomplished leaders, to serve as interim head of the General Counsel’s Office starting January 1.
Interim General Counsel
Tim will be taking on this leadership role for a period that may run for several months, until we conclude our search and appoint our next General Counsel. He will report directly to me in this assignment.
Tim is widely respected for the expert counsel that he has provided to help protect and grow our company, drawing upon his longstanding and broad experience. As Managing Counsel for more than two decades, Tim has overseen legal and regulatory affairs for several of our major businesses, including U.S. Consumer Card, OPEN, Global Banking (including our U.S. banking entities), Global Corporate Services, and our travel organizations, working in conjunction with our international colleagues in the GCO. He also has had oversight responsibility for major legal areas such as Litigation, Advertising and Insurance Services. In carrying out these responsibilities, he has worked closely and effectively with management, our regulators and members of our Board of Directors. Tim’s breadth of experience, his success in managing some of the most challenging legal and regulatory issues we have faced, and the trust he has engendered from all who work with him, make him a terrific choice for this assignment.
I know the General Counsel’s Office will be in superb hands during this interim period.
Other Reporting Relationship Changes
Separately, in thinking about the longer term structure of the team that has been reporting to Louise, I have decided to make two changes effective on January 1. These changes will enable our General Counsel’s organization, which I believe is the best in the business, to focus its energies entirely on its core responsibilities in an increasingly complex regulatory and legal environment.
The Global Security group, which is headed by Senior Vice President Mic Chandrani, will join Global Corporate Services (GCS). Mic will report directly to GCS President Steve Squeri, while maintaining a dotted-line relationship with the General Counsel. Security works closely with many teams in Global Corporate Services. They partner with our real estate, facilities management, and health and safety teams to ensure the safe and effective operation of our business. They also partner with our technologies and information security teams to help protect the company against online fraud and cyber crime. Bringing Global Security under the Corporate Services umbrella will help create stronger linkages between these critical shared services. At the same time, Security will continue to work closely with Global Fraud Risk Management, Compliance, Audit, Human Resources and other groups.
Time and again, Mic and his team have done outstanding work in protecting our employees, customers and shareholders with world-class security, investigative services and crisis management support. I know they will continue to excel as part of Corporate Services.
The other reporting change involves our Aviation group. Jeffrey Lee, Vice President of Flight Operations, will report directly to Kevin Cox, Chief Human Resources Officer. Jeff and his group play a key role in enabling senior leaders to manage global teams and maintain relationships with clients who do business around the world. Central to this work is a tremendous responsibly to effectively manage our aviation assets and, most important, ensure the safety of our travelers. This group will benefit from Kevin’s oversight as a leader who helps to drive business growth throughout the company.
I will update you on our General Counsel search when we have more news to share. In the meantime, I want to again express my gratitude to Louise for her continued leadership, and to Tim for agreeing to take on this additional responsibility.