American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to Step Down

Kenneth Chenault, the head of American Express Co. and one of the country's most prominent African American corporate leaders, will step down as chairman and chief executive Feb. 1, capping a 16-year run at the iconic card company as it grapples with a new wave of competition.

The 66-year-old executive will be succeeded as CEO by Stephen Squeri, a three-decade AmEx veteran who previously ran its division in charge of corporate cards. As vice chairman since 2015, Mr. Squeri had spent more time meeting with shareholders, leading many to believe he was on the short list to be the next chief executive.

Mr. Chenault's departure comes after a tumultuous period in which he fought to revive AmEx's fortunes following the loss of a key partnership with Costco Wholesale Corp. and as the company's preeminent product, the Platinum card, came under attack from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Sapphire Reserve card.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 16:37 ET (20:37 GMT)