American Express’ leaders said on Monday (May 2) that AT&T Vice Chairman Ralph de la Vega has been named to the payment firm’s board of directors.
As noted by Amex, de la Vega has served in his current role at AT&T since February of this year. In addition to his role as vice chairman at AT&T, de la Vega is also chief executive officer of business solutions and international, with oversight of the mobile and IP side of the firm. Prior to his current roles, the executive worked as president and CEO of the AT&T mobile and business solutions unit. Prior to joining AT&T, he was COO of Cingular Wireless and also president of BellSouth Latin America.
In a statement, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault stated that de la Vega “has extensive board, international management and leadership experience, as well as in-depth knowledge of the mobile communications industry. His experience, valuable insight in digital and mobile technology and deep commitment to diversity in the work place make him an ideal fit for American Express and our board of directors.”
As has been widely reported, Amex has been on a mission to cut costs and also bring new cardmembers into the fray. The loss of the Costco relationship, which spanned 16 years, has helped spur new initiatives by the firm to forge new retail partnerships. In the meantime, the focus is also on boosting lending, which, alongside the previously announced initiatives, would ostensibly help boost returns on capital deployed and also positively impact the bottom line. Chenault went on record at the company’s annual investor day on Monday that the latest set of results, especially in 2015, were disappointing.