Statement from ELC President & CEO on ELC Member Kenneth I. Chenault

October 19th, 2017


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ALEXANDRIA, VA (Oct. 19, 2017) – As you may have heard by now, fellow ELC member Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO of the American Express Company, has announced his retirement from the organization. While we are excited to learn about Ken’s next chapter in life, we are disappointed that his decision now leaves us with only three black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies.

Over his 37-year career with American Express, and the past 16 years as Chairman and CEO, we are so very proud of the legacy of leadership that Ken has demonstrated over his illustrious career. He guided the company through the difficult days of 9-11 as the new CEO of American Express, and once again during one of the most challenging global economic recessions of our time. Ken has always been a true model of courageous leadership, operating with the utmost integrity and distinction as demonstrated by his co-chairing and championing the fundraising efforts for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and playing a vital role in the creation of The ELC’s CEO Academy and board diversity initiatives. Ken will also be joining us for a fireside chat at our National CEO Summit on October 26th, and will be our guest at our 2017 ELC Recognition Gala.

I am optimistic about a future that will reflect the impact of his service and engagement for many years to come.