Amex's Sedky To Depart As Company Reorganizes

Following its announcement of 5,400 companywide layoffs, American Express Co. is reorganizing some departments and getting ready to say goodbye to 22-year veteran Hervé Sedky. Currently senior vice president and general manager of global business partnerships and premium services, Sedky this summer will leave "to pursue opportunities outside the company," according to memos obtained by The Beat.

A company official declined to comment.

Two of Sedky's direct reports, meetings and events leader Issa Jouaneh and advisory services head Kirsten Neuman, will lead a new segment called Business Consulting and Services, which for the first time formally will offer meetings and advisory services to Amex card clients in addition to business travel clients.

Sedky's other direct reports, global business partnerships head Kevin Carey and global sales head Lane Dubin, will report to American Express Global Business Travel president Kim Goodman.

In a Feb. 13 employee memo, Goodman credited Sedky for "identifying and developing new revenue opportunities like consulting and strategic meetings management" at a time of "great pressure on traditional revenue streams."

According to a separate memo from Sedky to clients, the company is building the new Business Consulting and Services segment because "we continuously hear from clients how much value our data assets are yielding for their organizations, so much so that they're asking for even more information, counsel and meetings services. Business Consulting & Solutions will be dedicated to delivering deeper insights, expanded advisory services and greater access to our information assets. It will focus on the value of analytics as a means for our clients to develop better-informed travel and expense management strategies and grow their businesses."

Amex last month announced that its business travel operations would be impacted by the planned layoffs, resulting from a shift to "online channels and automated servicing." According to the Wall Street Journal, American Express Global Business Travel before the cuts employed about 12,000 people.

American Express CFO Dan Henry during a conference call last month said that "while business travel hasn't been a significant generator of revenues for us, we do continue to look at ways continually to reengineer the business. The reason that we've taken a bigger step in business travel as far as restructuring is that we now have a new leadership team in place who proposed turning up the dial on our reengineering efforts in response to the changes that we're seeing in the business landscape. And we decided to implement their proposal. But that's not the only place that we're reengineering."

Goodman joined American Express Global Business Travel in January 2012.