Amex Restructures, Moves Squeri To Head Global Card
American Express last week announced the promotion of Steve Squeri, a 15-year company veteran, to president of Global Commercial Card, taking over the duties of Jud Linville, who moved over to lead the company's core credit card operations unit.
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The Global Commercial Card division, which includes corporate card, purchasing card, global information services and product development, is part of a new structure for American Express senior management. Alongside Squeri's unit is Global Travel, which encompasses corporate travel globally and consumer travel outside of the Unites States. That group is led by Charles Petruccelli, previously president of Corporate Services International.
Both executives report to Global Corporate Services president Ed Gilligan, who last week told Business Travel News that "Now I'm not the only person with a global job. A year and a half ago, I took responsibility for the global card and travel business, and now, in this latest change, I want to push global down.
"What we're trying to do is bring like functions together," Gilligan continued. "And to deliver more value to customers by building products faster and leveraging our infrastructure to make sure we continue the global transformation of our business that started well more than five years ago."
Squeri, who previously ran American Express' relationships with card merchants and built up its automated teller machine network, "has been dealing with big companies for most of his career," Gilligan said. "He brings a very fresh perspective to our commercial card business. I've known him personally for a long time."
"Clearly, we have had good success in marketing card programs outside of the United States," said Squeri in a press statement. "Now, we want to move more quickly to capitalize on corporations' strong interest in cost control and the growing need for a range of payment tools that can be easily implemented on a global basis."
Squeri's team includes Jeff McCabe, senior vice president of U.S. Large Market Commercial Card, and Anre Williams, vice president of U.S. Middle Market Commercial Card, Mike Bingham, vice president of Corporate Services Canada and Tim Johnson, senior vice president of Corporate Services in Japan, Asia/Pacific and Australia. The company also installed new leaders for Commercial Card Europe and Global Product Development.
Meanwhile, executive vice president Pam Arway took responsibility for corporate travel throughout North America, no longer just the United States. She reports to Petruccelli, as does Kim Lewis, newly named senior vice president of corporate travel for Europe.
Gilligan said the moves are "not about reducing the number of people," and noted that the previous structure—which had Linville running the U.S. card business, Arway running U.S. travel and Petruccelli running both internationally—"served us well through last year."
As part of the realignment, which took effect Jan. 2, American Express created a dedicated business unit, called Global Customers, for 50 of its most globally oriented clients. Most of those clients—some of which are based outside of the United States—have both corporate travel and commercial card relationships with American Express. The leader of that group, for whom American Express now is searching, would report to both Petruccelli and Squeri.
"Very few companies are set up to take advantage of a global structure like this," Gilligan said. "Many of our customers are still multinational, meaning decisions on card or travel are made by a group of people, and sometimes independently, throughout the world. These 50 have the ability and the desire to be managed globally, and I think this tough economic environment means more customers will be ready for a global approach over the next year or two."
Gilligan added that American Express also has globalized its development team, shifting away from a practice of designing new products first for the United States and later for the rest of the world.
"For instance, we will move quickly to expand our electronic servicing product, American Express @ Work," Squeri said. That effort also includes the expansion of online travel fulfillment services, part of American Express' Interactive Travel division, to additional countries in an effort to deliver a global fulfillment strategy based on client readiness.
According to Gilligan, "We would have done this sooner, but last year we were dealing with a lot of reengineering and a challenging economic environment." Given the circumstances, he said, "We got through last year very successfully."