Mobile Commerce

Amex Consolidates Executive Leadership

Fresh off the heels of a disappointing quarterly report that missed investor and Wall Street expectations and the crumbling of a longstanding and lucrative partnership with Costco, American Express is making some leadership changes.

As reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday (Oct. 28), chief among the reorganization effort is a combining of United States and international units.

Josh Silverman, who headed the consumer products division, is leaving the company, the newswire reported, and is joining the investment firm Greylock Partners.

Doug Buckminster had led international card operations but is now being named president of the global consumer unit. And in another combination, Anre Williams is to chair a unit that blends merchant services and the Amex loyalty business.

Further, Steve Squeri, who had been named to the vice chairman post, now will lead corporate and business initiatives on a global scale, with additional responsibilities in merchant financing and the FX payments operations.

The management shakeups may be an olive branch to investors, who have sent the stock down by more than 20 percent thus far in 2015. And a recent analyst downgrade may add some kindling to that decline. As has been widely reported, American Express has lost its biggest partner in co-branding, Costco Wholesale Corp. And that parting of the ways comes amid guidance that suggests a decline in earnings per share going forward. The management changes also come several months after Ed Gilligan, who had been president of the company, died of a heart attack returning to the U.S. from Japan.

In other management news that comes in the aftermath of these events, Jim Bush is taking over the American Express international consumer services group, and Denise Pickett becomes president of the U.S. consumer services division. A new global consumer lending arm is being created, too, with a search in place to find someone to lead that nascent operation.

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