When to Pivot: A 163-Year-Old Company’s Evolution
American Express is a 163 year-old organization known for trust, security and delivering world-class customer service. Three years ago, Amex created a new division to operate like a startup inside the company to broaden its reach to new customers and new geographies. Hear from group president, Dan Schulman, about what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the inspiration behind the company’s current mission to reach those disenfranchised by our traditional financial system. Dan will discuss how Amex discovered a huge opportunity to serve the needs of nearly 70 million unbanked and underbanked Americans who lack access to bank accounts and credit. Attendees will learn about the work that Dan and his team are doing to understand the pain points of these underserved customers, what inspired the company’s new products and services, and how the company is pivoting to become more inclusive while staying true to its core brand attributes.
Group Pres Enterprise Growth
Dan Schulman joined American Express as group president, Enterprise Growth, in August 2010. Dan is responsible for the company’s global strategy to leverage emerging technologies to reach new customers and new geographies beyond the company’s traditional Card and travel businesses. This includes expanding the company’s alternative mobile and online payment services, building new revenue streams, and fostering greater financial inclusion among those excluded or poorly served by the traditional financial system. He oversees the Serve software platform, and new alternative payment products such as Bluebird and American Express Serve as well as American Express Ventures and the company’s $100 million Digital Commerce Initiative, focused on investing in early stage startups.
Prior to joining American Express, Dan was the CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, which he founded in September 2001. With a record of high performance in the consumer-marketing arena and almost two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, he led the company from concept and nationwide launch in 2002 to become one of the nation’s top wireless carriers, with more than five million customers and $1.3 billion in annual sales. Virgin Mobile USA was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2007. In November 2009, Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint for approximately $800 million.
Previously, Dan served as the chief executive officer of priceline.com, where he established one of the most popular and recognized brands on the Internet, and was a primary architect in driving the company to profitability and more than $1 billion in revenues. Before that, Dan worked for more than 18 years at AT&T. He was the youngest member of the company’s senior executive team, the AT&T Operations Group, and was president of its $22 billion long distance division.
Dan was named a winner of the New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, saluting executives’ efforts in business excellence and community improvement, and was selected by Fierce Wireless as one of the Top 25 most powerful people in the global wireless industry. He currently serves on the board of governors of Rutgers University, and is the chair of the finance committee. He is the chairman of the board of directors of Symantec, and is the chair of the compensation committee on the Flextronics board of directors. He also serves on the board of Autism Speaks.
Dan earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Middlebury College and a Masters in Business Administration from New York University, majoring in Finance.