American Express Layoffs Have Begun

American Express (NYSE:AXP) has begun selected layoffs as part of a $1 billion cost-cutting plan announced in January has learned.

Company spokesperson Marina Norville tells, “There were some announcements this week that advised which roles were being eliminated as part of the larger restructuring plan.”

Norville did not elaborate on the number of employees that would be impacted. She added, “There will be restructuring changes throughout the year, reflecting our previously announced actions to take $1 billion out of our cost base by 2017.”

In February, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault released an internal note titled “Organization Announcement,” which addressed the challenges facing the credit card giant. “To get ahead of the changes that are altering the dynamics of the payments business, we need to re-adjust our expense base, which is why we set a target of reducing costs by $1 billion over the next two years,” Chenault wrote.

American Express is facing more competition from rivals including MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V). This summer, the company will lose its 16-year co-branded partnership with Costco (COST) for its TrueEarnings® card, as the big box retailer has partnered with Citi.

AmEx profits fell 39.2% during the fourth-quarter of 2015, those results were reported in Janaury along with the $1 billion plan to cut costs. The company is set to report results for the first-quarter on April 20.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) is the company’s largest shareholder with a 15.7% stake. Buffett reaffirmed his support for AmEx's management team in his 2015 annual report. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. 153.15 -1.53 -0.99%
MA MASTERCARD INC. 402.22 -1.14 -0.28%
C CITIGROUP INC. 40.92 -0.79 -1.89%
V VISA INC. 234.94 -1.51 -0.64%