American Express CEO Ken Chenault hands over to Steve Squeri

  • After about 17 years on the job
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Chenault
  • Chenault spoke at length and said 130 words

(exechange) — New York, October 18, 2017 — Ken Chenault, chief executive of American Express, hands over the reins. As announced by American Express Company in a news release on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Kenneth I. (Ken) Chenault leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the financial services corporation after about 17 years on the job, effective February 01, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 15 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past twelve months left after more than 15 years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 9 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Chenault’s duties are taken over by Steve Squeri, currently Vice Chairman at American Express Company.

“This is the right time to make the leadership transition”

The management change is explained as follows. Chenault said: “We’re starting a new chapter from a position of strength and this is the right time to make the leadership transition to someone who’s played a central role in all that we’ve accomplished.”

Precise information about the future plans of Chenault was not immediately available.


American Express said: “Mr. Squeri … will succeed Kenneth I. Chenault …, who will retire after a distinguished 37-year career with the Company.”

Share price rise since February 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of American Express Company since February 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2001

Kenneth I. Chenault has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company since April 2001 and January 2001 respectively.

Chenault joined American Express in 1981 and was named President of the U.S. division of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. in 1993; Vice Chairman of American Express Company in 1995; President and Chief Operating Officer in 1997; and Chief Executive Officer in January 2001.

Chenault is Chairman of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a member of The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and a trustee of the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Read the full story in the exechange report 43.2017 ($).