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American Express Reviews

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Recommend to a friend
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American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault
Ken Chenault
1,895 Ratings
  • Helpful (2)

    Sorry for the long review, but worth reading if you are thinking Amex will be good for your career!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Express full-time (More than 8 years)


    Open to flexible/virtual working. Be warned thought if your face isn't seen in the office forget about building a network, which you will need to stand any chance of having a successful career. Good focus on diversity with plenty of employee networks. Great advocate for the customer.


    No collaboration or cross business working. A follower with no innovation or new ideas. Is heavily hierarchical with no global autonomy, unless your based in NYC don't expect to have any input into strategy or company directions. Has masses of red tape so slow to make decisions or implement changes, unless these are redundancy/reorganisations, as they seem to happen very frequently. If you want to build a decent career expect to be here for a long time. Most job postings have a strong internal candidate before they are posted, so are nearly always given to someone within the team or from your new leaders old team (sometimes you will have 2 new leaders each year). It is not uncommon to have to have make 4-5 lateral moves (12-18 months) before each promotion. Start salaries are some of the worst in the industry and remain low due to poor lateral move pay rises (2-3%), annual bonuses (<5%,based on PMP see below) and annual pay rises (1-2 %). The PMP process is inherently unfair and geared to ensure only a handful of employees get the a decent bonus (5-8%). Your new salary and bonuses are linked to PMP rating, so the process has become a budget balancing exercise as opposed to a reward mechanism for great work. All rating must fit into a business wide bell curve meaning the number of ratings given is pre-determined (usually excellent 5%, average 65%, below expectation 30%). Your leader decides the rating you deserve, these are then combined across all the teams to see how closely they meet the bell curve. I have managed this process for 8 years and it never fit once. Now the discussions of reallocation begin... well it is more like a turf war with each leader fighting for there teams. If you have a poor leader your rating will be reduced from the one you would have originally been given. I have seen VPs reduce ratings at the last minute without knowing or even looking at the employees appraisal, just to make sure the allocation is perfectly met. I suppose the only good thing about this is that the company is actually collaborating on something!

    Advice to Management

    Get a better clue about your long term strategy so you don't have to reorganise every 5 mins. Find a fairer way of rewarding your teams.

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