Kenneth I. Chenault is an American business executive. He was the CEO and Chairman of American Express from 2001 until 2018. He is the third African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Chenault began his career as an associate at the law firm, Rogers & Wells in New York City, and as a consultant for Bain & Company. Chenault joined American Express in 1981, working in its Strategic Planning Group. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1997. He was the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s International Executive of the Year.