The following announcement is based on an internal note to American Express employees from Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:
From: Ken Chenault
Date: October 28, 2015
Subject: Organization Changes
As I said in my recent town halls and employee updates, we have a number of strengths that provide a unique competitive advantage: the breadth of our product line, the power of our brand, our record of innovation and our tradition of service. With those strengths to build on, it's critical that we act with a strong sense of urgency to put us in the best position to deliver against our goals. In developing our plans for the next few years, we are focusing on four key levers to help us accelerate our progress – growing revenues, optimizing investments, driving efficiency, and improving our management structure and process effectiveness.
I have decided to take a number of actions now on the fourth lever – our management structure – so that we can build momentum on the other three as we focus on our planning process for 2016 and beyond. The goal is to make sure:
- our organizational structure is closely aligned with our business priorities;
- our management and business processes become even more efficient; and
- we fully collaborate across all businesses and functions to drive innovation and growth.
Making changes now will help ensure that we're positioned to take full advantage of our opportunities going into next year. With that overarching goal in mind, today I'm announcing a reorganization of our businesses at the senior level.
Effective immediately, we are:
- Bringing together our U.S. and International Consumer businesses into one global organization under
Doug Buckminster, President, Global Consumer Services Group;
- Globalizing our business-to-business activities by combining our Corporate and Small Business organizations across the U.S and International, and bringing our merchant financing and foreign exchange international payments business into this new B2B group, under the leadership of
Steve Squeri, Vice Chairman: and
- Bringing together our merchant-related businesses by moving our Global Loyalty Coalition business and the Global Network Business team to the Global Merchant Services Group under Anré Williams, President, Global Merchant Services and Loyalty.
Global Consumer Services
In bringing together our U.S. and International consumer businesses, our aim is to balance global strategy and local execution to become more effective in the way we work across multiple markets and get a maximum advantage from the capabilities and infrastructure that serve our Card Members.
As President of the Global Consumer Services Group, Doug, who is currently President, Global Network and International Consumer Services, will be responsible for all consumer charge and lending products, both proprietary and partner-issued, as well as consumer travel and other related services globally. Doug continues to report to me in his new role.
Doug has had many years of success in leading a number of our international businesses, including consumer, small business and network partnerships. In addition, Doug identified and helped drive the company's acquisition of our Loyalty Coalition business in 2011. These experiences, coupled with his extensive background in finance, risk management and in overseeing complex, multi-dimensional organizations, have prepared Doug well to take on the challenge of creating a global consumer business that has both global scale and local relevance.
Reporting to Doug are the following:
- Jim Bush, who has been named President of International Consumer Services
- Denise Pickett, who has been named President of U.S. Consumer Services
We are also creating a Global Consumer Lending group under Doug and will conduct an internal and external search to find the head of this group.
As we were contemplating these changes, Josh Silverman and I have simultaneously been discussing his desire to return to his entrepreneurial roots. Given our decision to make changes before year-end, he felt this was the right time to leave American Express, and he will be joining the Greylock Partners venture capital team as an Executive-in-Residence.
In his four and a half years with American Express, Josh did a terrific job steering the U.S. Consumer Product and Services group through a watershed time in the industry, marked by increased regulation and intense competition. He built a strong team that, with his guidance, broadened the appeal of our brand with initiatives such as the launch of the Amex EveryDay Credit Card for the mass affluent segment; developed next generation premium benefits, including our Centurion lounges; and drove our heightened emphasis on lending, all of which helped to fuel growth across our consumer business. I want to thank Josh for his many contributions to our success over the past few years and wish him well as he starts his new role in the venture capital arena.
Global Commercial Payments
Business-to-business payments are one of the company's largest and most attractive growth opportunities. By combining these businesses into one cohesive team under Steve's leadership, our intent is to maximize our opportunity to grow with our business customers around the world. Steve will retain all of his other current responsibilities.
Steve has a wealth of experience and success in creating and growing complex, global businesses, with previous roles overseeing Global Commercial Card, Technology and Global Services. In 2010, Steve led the establishment of the Global Services Group, which brought together the company's shared services functions. Since then, these groups have realized significant efficiencies while handling increased volumes and improving overall customer satisfaction, demonstrating the power of a global approach to running the business.
Our B2B leadership reporting in to Steve are:
- Susan Sobbott President of Global Commercial Payments.
- Paul Abbott EVP, Commercial Payments
Global Merchant Services and Loyalty
In bringing our Global Loyalty Coalition and Global Network Business together with our Global Merchant Services group, currently headed by Anré, we are consolidating major merchant-related activities under a single leadership structure. To reflect this expanded role, Anré has been named President, Global Merchant Services and Loyalty. Anré continues to report to me.
Anré has held a number of increasingly senior roles across consumer, small business and corporate payments before taking on responsibility for GMS in 2011. As head of GMS, Anré has driven significant growth in our merchant network through a number of large, marquee signings, such as Tim Horton's and Sam's Club, as well as with the introduction of innovative programs such as OptBlue, which has transformed the way we acquire small merchants.
Pierric Beckert, EVP, will report to Anré with responsibility for our Loyalty Coalition businesses globally, as well as merchant services in EMEA and JAPA.
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We have a strong set of businesses with a number of very attractive opportunities. And while we continue to operate in a fiercely competitive environment, we have a plan for growth and an experienced and fully committed team to lead us forward. We have a unique set of strengths, including our brand, our position as the world's largest card issuer, leadership in B2B payments, a heritage of world class customer service, a culture of innovation and a proven ability for rising to the challenge.
The changes announced today form a foundation that will help us streamline functions that cut across organizational lines, accelerate our progress in containing operating expenses, allocate investment dollars more efficiently and create, over time, a leaner, faster, more efficient American Express.
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About American Express
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