Harvey Golub, chairman and chief executive officer of the American Express Co., will be speaking at Cornell University Friday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. in Schwartz Auditorium, Rockefeller Hall. His talk is titled "Leadership and Change" and is free and open to the public.
Golub became chairman and CEO of American Express in early 1993. At that time the financial services company was facing serious organizational challenges as well as increased global competition. Under Golub's leadership, American Express has regained U.S. card market share, significantly increased earnings and market capitalization and, perhaps most important, become a company with a keener focus on achieving results and a culture based on principles and values.
Those accomplishments earned Golub a spot in Business Week's 1997 pantheon of the top 25 managers in the United States, in tandem with American Express president Kenneth Chenault. Described as the strategist of the pair, Golub was credited by Business Week with carrying out an effective counterattack against rival firms Visa and MasterCard and reshaping his company's financial profile.
American Express continues to prosper under Golub's leadership. This April it was ranked 73rd in the 1998 Fortune 500 listings of the largest U.S. companies, just above Coca-Cola. Its earnings per share increased by nearly 12 percent from 1997, and it is now 50th in the United States in market value ($56.6 million).
Golub attended Cornell from 1956 to 1958 and completed his B.S. degree at New York University in 1961. He held positions in industry and was a junior partner at McKinsey and Co. before joining American Express in 1984 as president and CEO of IDS Financial Services -- now known as American Express Financial Advisors. In 1990 he became chairman and CEO of IDS and also was elected vice chairman of American Express and a member of the company's board of directors. He became president of American Express in July 1991 and chairman and CEO of American Express Travel Related Services in October of that year.
Golub's talk is part of the Park Distinguished Lecture Series at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and is a component of the Park Leadership Fellows Program. Past Park speakers have included Robert W. Galvin, chairman of the executive committee, Motorola, Inc.; James Hau slein, founder, Sunglass Hut; and Irene Rosenfeld, president, Kraft Canada. For more information about Golub's visit, contact Clint Sidle at (607) 255-4104.