News excerpts from The Square PAGE 8 AmEx in the News Business Update: Strong Q4 and Exceptional Year American Express ended 2017 with record Card Member spending, 10 percent revenue growth in the fourth quarter and a positive earnings outlook for 2018. Like most U.S. companies, American Express felt the upfront impacts of new tax legislation, which resulted in a quarterly loss. Excluding that one-time impact, our earnings per share were $1.58 for the quarter and $5.87 for the year – at the higher end of our most recent outlook. “Your relentless focus on executing our game plan over the past two years has made a big difference,” said Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault in his note to employees. “By the close of 2017, we accomplished what we set out to do – and then some.” Based on this performance and the company’s position, Ken announced an additional benefit for eligible employees globally – a one-time contribution to the company’s profit sharing programs that amounts to 2.5 percent of pay. AmEx Jumps to 23rd rank on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies Fortune Magazine released its 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list and American Express made a big jump. We ranked No. 23, marking our highest ranking yet. In 2017, we ranked No. 69 (we’ll let you do the math on how many spots we moved up). Here are a few stats about the study: • American Express has been included on the Best Companies to Work For list for the past 15 of 16 years • The study measures characteristics such as: executive team effectiveness, innovation and people-focused programs • The list is based on survey responses from colleagues, who rate a number of workplace elements, including trust in managers, compensation, fairness and camaraderie. • More than 310,000 colleagues participated in the survey for the 2018 list
News excerpts from The Square PAGE 9 American Express CEO Ken Chenault bids adieu to AmEx after 17-year run It will be the end of a 17-year run at the helm of Amex, and a 37-year career with the company. Named CEO in 2001, Chenault, 66, is among the first African Americans to run a Fortune 500 company, and he recently completed a two-year turnaround. In a statement he 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." American Express acquires personal assistant app Mezi Mezi, an artificial intelligence-powered travel app developed by Pune-born twins, has been acquired by American Express in an all-cash deal. The deal size is pegged at $125-150 million, making it one of the largest cash acquisitions in the Indian start-up space. AmEx Outduels Citigroup for Exclusive Rights to Hilton Cards American Express Co. has struck back against Citigroup Inc., winning exclusive rights to issue credit cards for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and ending an agreement in which the two banks shared the business.