American Express President Ed Gilligan Dies

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AmEx President Gilligan Dies After Becoming Ill on Flight.

Gilligan, 55, was returning from a business trip to Tokyo on a corporate aircraft, which made an emergency landing, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.United Press International is a leading provider of news, photos and information to millions of readers around the globe via UPI.com and its licensing services. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and the cause of death is undetermined, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a personal issue. “This is deeply painful and frankly unimaginable for all of us who had the great fortune to work with Ed, and benefit from his insights, leadership and enthusiasm,” Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault said in a letter to the staff. “His contributions have left an indelible imprint on practically every area of our business.” Gilligan began working as an intern at the New York-based company about 35 years ago, and was named vice chairman in 2007 and president in 2013, according to the letter. With a history of reliable reporting dating back to 1907, today’s UPI is a credible source for the most important stories of the day, continually updated – a one-stop site for U.S. and world news, as well as entertainment, trends, science, health and stunning photography.

Ed Gilligan – President of our company and friend and inspiration to many inside and outside American Express – became seriously ill on a flight home to New York this morning and has passed away. AmEx also lost a high-profile antitrust lawsuit that was filed by the Justice Department. “In our view, his name was at the top of any succession planning and his absence obviously hurts,” wrote Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, in a note to clients. Sakhrani also said “there is a solid bench of executives at the company.” American Express faces an unusual conundrum as boards typically plan ahead for the sudden demise of their leader–rather than the heir apparent, one succession specialist said.

Directors likely will quickly identify other potential Chenault successors and try “to put them on an accelerated development path,” predicted Jeffrey Cohn, a CEO succession expert. Gilligan’s 2013 promotion, the company credited him with increasing its share of online spending, enhanced social media efforts and international expansion into new areas of loyalty marketing. He joined the board of Concur Technologies Inc. in 2008 in conjunction with American Express’s investment in the company, which was sold to SAP SE SAP -0.36 % in late 2014.

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