American Express shakes up Global Services Group

Source: American Express

The following announcement was distributed today to American Express employees.

From: Ken Chenault, Chairman & CEO

To: American Express Employees

Developing an executive team with experience that spans a range of our businesses has always been an important part of managing our company for long-term success. And in an environment where ongoing economic uncertainty and rapid technological changes require increasing flexibility and speed to market, it's even more critical that our leaders possess a broad understanding of our businesses and the customers we serve.

We've made terrific progress against the priorities I laid out earlier this year and have delivered strong financial results along the way. But to maintain our momentum, we must accelerate the digital transformation of our businesses and make sure we have the right organizational structure in place to strengthen our connections with a growing universe of American Express customers and business partners around the world.

Against this backdrop, we are making changes that involve several of our business units and an expanded charter for the Global Services Group. Some of these changes were also influenced by the plans of our colleague, Charles Petruccelli, president of Global Business Travel, who has been talking with me for some time about his wish to retire from American Express at the end of this year. Charles has had an outstanding, 36-year career at American Express, and I'll say more about his many contributions a little later.

The key organizational moves we're making to help prepare us for the opportunities and challenges ahead include:

* Effective immediately, Bill Glenn, who has run our Global Merchant Services (GMS) business for the past four years, has been named president, Global Corporate Payments and Business Travel. In bringing these two groups together under one leader, we can leverage our relationships and expertise in serving our corporate clients to provide integrated solutions across a wide range of expense categories.
* In his new role, Bill ww role, Bill will report to Steve Squeri, who will now be responsible for overseeing our business with external corporate clients in addition to leading the delivery of shared services across our company internally. To reflect this expanded role, Global Services will now be known as Global Corporate Services, and Steve will continue as group president. While Steve will manage these units separately, there are many opportunities to develop and share best practices that can help both our external clients as well as our own company increase efficiency, manage costs effectively and improve customer service.
* Also effective immediately, Anré Williams is promoted to president of Global Merchant Services, succeeding Bill. Anré has run Global Corporate Payments (GCP) since 2007. In his new role he will be responsible for building our network and delivering value to our merchant partners across the globe. He will report to Vice Chairman Ed Gilligan.
* In addition to these immediate changes, Kim Goodman, who has been leading the Merchant Services Americas (MSA) group since 2010, will be promoted to president, Global Business Travel, reporting to Bill, effective January 2. Kim will continue in her current role until her successor is named and will work with Charles through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

We will be announcing a number of additional leadership moves, including staff group support, over the next several weeks as we adjust the organization to the changes we are announcing today.

Bill, Anré, Kim and Steve each bring a combination of keen business acumen and strong leadership skills to their new and/or expanded roles.

Bill Glenn has been with GMS since joining the company in 2002 and has been in his current role since 2007. He is a fierce competitor who empowers his teams and is passionate about developing his people. Bill's intense focus on delivering value to customers will be an important asset in his new role leading corporate payments and business travel worldwide.

As president of GMS, Bill led the transformation of our merchant business into a truly global network that capitalizes on our unique closed loop assets. In addition to growing the network and strengthening relationships with key merchants, Bill led the launch of a number of services and capabilities that bring added value to our merchant partners and diversify our revenue streams, including the acquisition of Accertify and the creation of Business Insights. Bill's teams have also been among the key drivers of the ongoing digital transformation of our traditional businesses, developing and launching such important innovations as payment APIs and our Registered Card applications with partners such as Facebook, Google and foursquare.

Anré Williams has been with our corporate payments business since 1999 and has served in leadership positions in a number of our businesses over his 21-year career at American Express. Anré brings to his new role a relentless focus on the customer and on delivering results, qualities he instills throughout his organization. He is a strong and caring people leader known for his straight-forward approach and commitment to employee development.

Under Anré's leadership, the Global Corporate Payments team has produced excellent results, delivering strong revenue and profit growth coming out of the recent recession and strengthening our competitive position in every region of the world. He has helped drive several important deals for American Express, successfully integrating the acquisition of General Electric's corporate payment business, and managing our investment in Concur Technologies. Anré led the diversification of commercial card spend over the past few years, increasing non-T&E spending to a substantial portion of our overall corporate billings. Our products are now routinely used to buy computers, office supplies, advertising services and jet fuel, and to pay utility bills.

Kim Goodman is an enthusiastic leader who inspires her team to deliver great results for their customers and for the company. She is a skilled negotiator and places a premium on strategic selling across her organization, two strengths that will serve her well in her new role in Business Travel.

Kim joined American Express as executive vice president of Merchant Services North America in 2007. After being promoted to president of MSA in 2010, she reorganized and refocused the team to get closer to their customers. In particular, Kim championed the creation of the Global Client Group to better serve our most important global accounts. She has developed a strong team that knows how to deliver differentiated value to merchants and bring prospects into our network. Kim also brings a sharp strategic and analytic perspective to her role that has helped to grow billings while increasing overall value to our customers.

Steve Squeri is one of our most experienced and successful executives. He is an outstanding leader with deep knowledge across our businesses, giving him a truly enterprise-wide perspective that he brings to everything he does. Steve is a great developer of talent and has a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions to complex business issues.

Since its creation in 2009, the Global Services Group under Steve's leadership has expanded our legacy of exceptional customer service, while significantly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a wide range of internal processes. The team has delivered strong bottom-line results while also improving service levels and supporting many of the high-profile digital initiatives we've launched across the company.

In a prior role as chief information officer, Steve strengthened our company's position as an industry leader in the strategic use of technology. During his career at American Express, he also served in senior leadership roles in a number of our businesses, including president, Merchant Services U.S. and Canada and president, Global Commercial Card. His knowledge of the corporate payments business, technologies and customer service will help accelerate the digitizing of the products and services we provide large and mid-sized corporations around the world.

As I mentioned earlier, I want to talk about Charles. Without question, Charles Petruccelli has had a great impact on the company and, indeed, the entire travel industry during his career. He joined American Express as a management trainee in July, 1976 and during his tenure has held increasingly senior roles spanning the card, travel, merchant services and travelers cheque businesses in various countries and regions around the world.

In the last 10 years as president of Global Travel Services, Charles has led his teams to set industry standards for innovation and service, using advances in technology to transform the way we meet the changing needs and preferences of our customers and clients. There isn't a year that goes by that the travel industry isn't hit -- often disproportionately -- by major crises, whether it's natural disasters, acts of terrorism or economic turmoil. But it's a true testament to Charles' steady and thoughtful leadership that we've been able to weather whatever crisis we're facing and maintain our leadership position.

Throughout his career, Charles has taken a "Blue Box first" approach to leadership, driving the continual evolution of his organizations to drive efficiencies, improve service levels, build our client portfolio and collaborate with other business units. Most recently, this focus has allowed the Business Travel team to deliver strong financial performance coming out of the recession. Charles also helped organize and lead the company-wide reengineering efforts we undertook during the financial crisis. He coordinated the senior team that spearheaded a series of fee-based revenue initiatives across the company and, more recently, introduced us to vente-privee, our newest joint venture partner. Charles also initiated our coordinated approach to the airline industry and led our global strategies for managing relationships with customers who deal with many parts of the company.

The numerous deals, partnerships, client wins and acquisitions that Charles was responsible for during his tenure have generated great value to the company over the years.

While I'm going to miss his counsel and contributions, I understand and support Charles' decision. I want to personally thank him for all he has done for the company, and I wish him all the best as he begins this new chapter of his life.

A Strong Foundation
As you know, the environment in which we operate is evolving rapidly. Markets around the world are volatile, and the convergence of online and offline commerce is accelerating, with old competitive foes and new challengers -- some of whom are also our partners -- all angling for the attention, and wallets, of consumers and businesses alike. We must be prepared to navigate the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities in a way that is smart, nimble and efficient.

We face this task with an outstanding leadership team at all levels of the organization. Because of their focus, experience and will to win, we are moving forward from a position of strength across all of our businesses: whether driving the digital transformation of our global consumer, small business and network businesses under Ed Gilligan's leadership, expanding into mobile and other new digital payments products outside of our traditional franchise under Dan Schulman's leadership, or delivering exceptional customer service and digital solutions that help drive efficiencies for our corporate customers, as well as our own employees, under Steve's leadership.

The changes announced today will help us further develop our executive talent and help us continue to evolve our business for the digital age.

Please join me in wishing Charles well as he prepares to retire from American Express and in congratulating Steve, Bill, Anré and Kim as they take on their new responsibilities.

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