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Organization Announcement: American Express


The following announcement is based on an internal note to American Express employees from Stephen J. Squeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:

I am writing to let you know that Mike O’Neill, our Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, is planning to retire at year end.

Mike, a long-time colleague and member of our leadership team, joined American Express in 1991 from Shearson Lehman Brothers as senior vice president to run what was then the corporate communications group. He later added company-wide responsibilities that have included internal and external communications, corporate social responsibility and reputational risk management. He’s a member of our Executive Committee and, since 2014, has served as a corporate officer of the company as well as chairman of the American Express Foundation.

As a principal spokesman and advocate for American Express, Mike has helped us earn recognition as one of the world’s most admired companies. He built a terrific team that expanded the global profile of our products, strengthened colleague engagement, broadened our relationships within the communities where we operate and established our profile as one of the corporate world’s top places to work.

Throughout a career that spanned a number of political, economic, competitive and legal challenges, Mike has helped us manage the reputational risks that come with being one of the world’s highest-profile companies. He has been recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the communications world and has represented his peers as chair of several leading professional associations.

Mike has the distinction of serving as an advisor to four American Express CEOs – with Jim Robinson and Harvey Golub during the 1990s, with Ken Chenault through the challenges of 9/11 and the financial crisis as well as our return to growth, and with me over the last year as we started a new chapter. Mike, in fact, postponed his earlier retirement plans for a couple of years to work with me as I transitioned into the CEO role.

While he is planning to be with us through 2019, I wanted to share news of Mike’s plans now so that we can move forward with the search for his successor. He will be working with me to ensure we have a smooth transition, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to wish him well before he retires from the corporate world.

For now, I want to thank him for all he has done for American Express throughout a distinguished career. He’s a great colleague and I am very grateful for all of his advice and support.


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at

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