Kenneth I. Chenault

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Definition of 'Kenneth I. Chenault'

Kenneth I. Chenault (born March 2, 1951) is an American businessman who served as the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of American Express from 2001 to 2018. He is currently a senior advisor to the firm.

Chenault was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in New Orleans East. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1973. He then attended Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA in 1975.

After graduating from Harvard Business School, Chenault began his career at American Express in 1976. He held a variety of positions at the company, including vice president of marketing and sales, president of the travel and entertainment division, and president of the consumer card division.

In 2001, Chenault was named CEO of American Express. He is credited with leading the company through a period of significant growth and transformation. During his tenure as CEO, American Express's revenue grew from $25 billion to $35 billion, and its market capitalization grew from $30 billion to $90 billion.

Chenault is also credited with leading American Express through the financial crisis of 2008. The company was one of the few major financial institutions to avoid a government bailout during the crisis.

In 2018, Chenault retired as CEO of American Express. He was succeeded by Stephen Squeri.

Chenault is a member of the board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company, the Walt Disney Company, and the Carlyle Group. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chenault has received numerous awards and honors for his business achievements. In 2009, he was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." In 2010, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Chenault is married to Kathryn Chenault, and they have two children.

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