American Express appoints interim GC amid internal reshuffle

American Express (AmEx) has named managing counsel Tim Heine as its interim general counsel as it rejigs its internal reporting structure.

In a staff memo the credit card giant confirmed that Heine would be standing in for current GC Louise Parent, who is joining Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as of counsel next spring after 20 years in the role (26 November 2013).

AmEx CEO Ken Chenault also said that two departments – global security and aviation – would no longer report to the general counsel. 

“In thinking about the longer term structure of the team that has been reporting to Louise, I have decided to make two changes effective on January 1,” he said. ”These changes will enable our general counsel’s organization, which I believe is the best in the business, to focus its energies entirely on its core responsibilities in an increasingly complex regulatory and legal environment.” 

A memo sent to staff in April said that Parent had agreed to remain in her role until a new GC was named to ensure a smooth transition.

“Given the critical importance of this job, we will conduct a wide-ranging internal and external search for her successor,” Chenault said.

Last month American Express advertised for a new legal position in Europe, calling for a director of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to report to the group’s EMEA general counsel. London-based Tim Ehinger, who joined in 2003, leads the EMEA legal department.