INTERVIEW: In Conversation with Brett Mooney, CEO, American Express Canada
Q: Your appointment to CEO is marking your return to Amex after close to ten years. What made you want to return to Amex now?
I spent the first 13 years of my career at American Express, and it’s a great honour to be back. Returning to Amex was an easy decision for me for the following reasons:
• People & Talent: Amex invests, develops and grows the best talent in Canada.
• Culture: No other organization has a culture like Amex – one which is built on innovation, results orientation, collaboration and investment in developing our people.
• Strategic Market Position: Amex is a global leader at the intersection of payments, lifestyle experiences and travel – and the business momentum that we have as a global organization is outstanding.
• Proven Track record: Amex consistently delivers for shareholders, customers and colleagues – we operate with accountability and deliver what we commit to.
It’s very exciting to return to the organization at a time when the business has incredible momentum and for the opportunity to lead such a talented team as we chart the next chapter of growth in Canada.
Q: Over your 20+ year career, you’ve held a variety of roles covering product, lending, digital strategy and consumer acquisition. How has your wide range of experience helped to prepare you for this current position?
Amex is a company that consistently creates and delivers outstanding value for our Cardmembers. We have a proven track record of innovating across 3 primary dimensions – payments, lifestyle experiences and travel. My various roles in areas such as digital strategy, customer acquisition, payments and financial technology have given me the foundation to build upon and lead the Amex team to create new forms of value through our products and services. Amex has invested heavily in technology and talent over the years and I’m confident that we’ll continue to demonstrate why we are market leaders in the payments space.
Q: There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the types of qualities that make for a strong corporate leader post-pandemic. What do you consider to be the hallmarks of effective leadership right now, and how do they factor into your leadership style?
We expect more from our leaders than ever before – and that’s a good thing because leading teams is a privilege. Our leaders operate with the highest degree of integrity and accountability to the teams they serve. I’m not sure if they are hallmarks but in today’s environment effective leaders must also have the following skills and attributes:
• Vision. Leaders must have a broad aperture, determine what is useful to a strategy and what isn’t and make tough choices on which arenas their organization will play in.
• Focus. It’s important that all leaders determine how to define the focus for their organization and maintain that focus given the volume of potential distractions. Strategy is important but focused execution is where the rubber meets the road.
• Authenticity. Being who you are and connecting with your team is critical. It not only builds trust but it helps create an inclusive culture which benefits everyone at the organization.
• Humility. It’s important for leaders to recognize that they must work alongside the teams they lead and be open about their own development opportunities. At Amex we’re creating a learning organization where the team learns together and leverages each other’s strengths and insights regardless of level of title.
Q: What are you most excited about, or most looking forward to, in this role?
A: There are many things I’m looking forward to in this role. Coming out of the pandemic, American Express has built significant momentum and we are a much stronger company today than we were 3 years ago. I’m excited to work with all of the impressive leaders across our team in Canada as we strengthen our partnerships, deliver outstanding value to our Cardmembers and continue to provide them with best-in-class service for all of their needs. We have the right assets, a talented team, strong partnerships and a passion for innovation – and those are the essential ingredients to deliver on our ambitious growth objectives in Canada. I’m excited for what the future will bring, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be back working with the team of impressive leaders at American Express.
Thanks for speaking with us today.