AmEx's Kelly to step down after two years in top job

AMERICAN Express said yesterday that Alfred Kelly will step down as its president early next year to seek a chief executive role elsewhere.<br /><br />&ldquo;In the context of discussions we have had about longer-term plans for the organisation, Kelly made clear to me that he wanted the opportunity to run a company as chief executive,&rdquo; said American Express chief executive Kenneth Chenault.<br /><br />&ldquo;Given my own plans for the coming years, we both agreed that was not likely to happen at American Express in the short term.&rdquo;<br /><br />Kelly joined American Express in 1987 and in recent years has been responsible for the company&rsquo;s consumer and small business card franchise. He has been president for the last two years.<br /><br />Analysts said it was unlikely Kelly would get the chief executive post at Bank of America, which has said that boss Kenneth Lewis will leave the company by year-end.<br /><br />American Express, the largest credit card company by revenue, also announced the creation of a new global services organisation and a new enterprise growth organisation to increase fee revenue.<br /><br />Steve Squeri, who has been in charge of technologies and corporate development, will lead the global services group. American Express said it was recruiting a manager from outside to lead the enterprise growth division.