KENNETH I. CHENAULT
Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst
As a managing director at General Catalyst, Ken focuses on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He also provides invaluable guidance to portfolio companies, particularly to those with an eye towards global markets and responsible innovation, as they scale their teams and products. As chairman, Ken leverages his renowned leadership abilities and experience to continue to evolve General Catalyst into a formidable and enduring firm.
Prior to joining General Catalyst, Ken Chenault was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express Company, a position he held from 2001 to 2018. He joined American Express in 1981 as Director of Strategic Planning and served subsequently in a number of increasingly senior positions, including Vice Chairman and President and Chief Operating Officer, until his appointment as CEO. Under his leadership, American Express built one of the world’s largest customer loyalty programs – Membership Rewards – and earned global recognition as a leader in customer service.
Ken is recognized as one of the business world’s experts on brands and brand management and has been honored by multiple publications including Fortune Magazine, which named him as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in its inaugural list in 2014.
Ken serves on the boards of Airbnb, Facebook, IBM, The Procter & Gamble Company, the Harvard Corporation and numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. He is also is a member of the Business Council and serves on the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable.
Ken holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in history from Bowdoin College. He has also received honorary degrees from several universities and awards from a wide variety of civic, social service, and community organizations.