Ed Gilligan, AmEx President, Dies at 55 on Tokyo-New York Flight

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AmEx president dies on business trip.

Ed Gilligan, the president of American Express and likely successor to take over the company, died unexpectedly on Friday morning after becoming “seriously ill” on a flight from Japan back home to New York. “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,” Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, wrote in a memo to all employees. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Lisa, and their four children – Katie, Meaghan, Kevin and Shane.NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 10: L-R) Ed Gilligan, President, American Express, with actress Emmy Rossum and Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder, Uber (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images) [Via MerlinFTP Drop] Edward Gilligan, a high-ranking official at credit card giant American Express, died on Friday after becoming “seriously ill” on one of the company’s corporate jets, the company said.

He was a proud husband and father, and his love for his family was evident in all that he did.” Gilligan joined American Express 35 years ago as an intern and worked his way up through the ranks, holding positions in finance, business travel, corporate services and business-to-business relations before taking over as president in 2013. Marina Norville, a spokesperson for American Express, told Mashable the company had yet to hear “final word” on the illness that led to Gilligan’s death. Gilligan was returning from a business trip to Tokyo on a corporate jet, which made an emergency landing after he was stricken, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Gilligan’s Twitter profile described him as working at the New York-based credit-card issuer and “dreaming of Chelsea football and a good glass of wine, hoping to make a positive impact.” His last tweet, on May 16, referred to a comment about David Letterman’s final show. “He always liked to be out with clients,” said Gordon Smith, CEO of consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who worked with Gilligan at AmEx for more than two decades. “He knew everyone, took time to learn people’s names, he knew about their families.” Gilligan was widely considered a leading candidate to eventually succeed Chenault, according to analysts including Portales Partners’ William Ryan. His contributions have left an indelible imprint on practically every area of our business, from Commercial Card and Travel to International, Consumer, Small Business, Merchant Services, Network Services and, most recently, the group forging our digital partnerships and driving payment innovations.

Ed was a living embodiment of our values, embracing both our heritage of service, trust and integrity, as well as our entrepreneurial spirit that has helped continually transform this company through the years. Gilligan was group president of global corporate services on 9/11, when the company’s headquarters at the World Financial Center in New York were damaged in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Towers across the street. “We were the fastest growing business in the company going into 2001, and we were the business most decimated,” Gilligan said in a 2014 interview with the Financial Times.

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