American Express is looking for a new head of European public
affairs following the promotion of European vice president Sally
Susman is leaving the job after two and a half years for a new role as
vice president, public affairs international. Based in New York, she
will be responsible for all the company’s public affairs activities
outside the US, with a total staff of around 50 spread across the three
main regions: Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The role has been created as part of American Express’ plan to focus its
efforts on 20 to 25 key markets while withdrawing from issuing cards
directly to clients in the remainder of the 52 countries where it
A former Senate aide on Capitol Hill, Susman spent three and a half
years with American Express in New York. In 1992 she left to join the
first Clinton administration as deputy assistant secretary for
legislative affairs returning to American Express as vice president,
public affairs for Europe in 1994.
As the company’s top PR executive in Europe, Susman headed a team of 14
people handling media relations, government affairs, internal
communications and sponsorship with a budget estimated at between pounds
1.5 million and pounds 2 million.
It is understood the company is recruiting internally for a successor
and to fill another vacancy created by the departure of Jane Drew, one
of three European public affairs directors reporting to her.
Drew, who handled public relations for the company’s consumer cards,
left to join investment management group Fidelity Investments as head of
UK media relations earlier this month.