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AmEx Hires Sprint’s Schulman, Names Leonsis to Board

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Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express
Kenneth Chenault, chief executive officer of American Express Co., speaks at the Raffles International Leadership Lecture in Singapore in this file photo. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, hired Daniel Schulman from Sprint Nextel Corp. to head a new enterprise growth group and named Ted Leonsis, who was chairman of Revolution Money before its acquisition by AmEx, to the company’s board.

Schulman, 52, will be a member of the firm’s operating committee, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Kenneth I. Chenault. Leonsis, 53, the billionaire owner of the Washington Capitals hockey team and former vice chairman of American Online Inc., will be chairman of a new innovation and technology committee, New York-based AmEx said today in a statement.

Schulman joined Sprint last year after the carrier’s acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, where he had been CEO. Sprint’s prepaid business has become its fastest-growing, with brands including Virgin, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless. The prepaid group added 348,000 customers last quarter while the company lost subscribers overall.

“We looked outside the industry for a proven leader who knows how to transform today’s technology into tomorrow’s products,” Chenault, 59, said in the statement. “We wanted someone whose expertise cut across online and mobile technology, who has built new businesses, who knows how to work with great brands and who could help us leverage our existing assets and build new ones.”

Schulman, who also served as CEO of Inc., is a director of Symantec Corp. and Flextronics International Ltd., and a member of the board of Rutgers University and Autism Speaks. He will be replaced at Sprint by Robert H. Johnson, 56, who had been in charge of the company’s consumer business.

Revolution Money Acquired

Leonsis was named a special adviser to AmEx in November when the card issuer announced it would pay about $300 million to buy Revolution Money. The Internet-based payments network had billed itself to merchants as a low-cost alternative to AmEx, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.

American Express, which plans to report second-quarter results tomorrow after the market close, climbed 45 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $42.51 at 9:34 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, declined 8 cents to $4.63.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Eichenbaum in New York at; Amy Thomson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alec McCabe in New York at

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