This is how the excellent Glenda McNeal embodies the importance of a partner officer in modern business

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 8, 2024 11:09 AM EDT
Glenda McNeal
Glenda McNeal. Photo Credit: American Express

Glenda McNeal is an accomplished executive with an enviable career trajectory in business development, overseeing complex global relationships, employing consultative selling techniques, navigating intricate negotiations, and establishing and overseeing strategic partnerships that foster growth and innovation.

As a member of the American Express Executive Committee, McNeal takes charge of a global client team dedicated to expanding revenue, market share, and profitability across a diverse range of merchants in industries such as retail, online, technology, and travel. She spearheads the company’s endeavors to make AXP a more relevant and accessible partner on a global scale.

McNeal is a dedicated and inspiring leader who empowers, advocates for, coaches and develops talent within her team. She possesses extensive leadership experience in establishing new organizations with a shared vision that aligns with the evolving needs of the business. Her ability to bridge partnership gaps through customer insights, effective issue resolution, and strong influencing skills have contributed to her remarkable success. McNeal’s leadership approach prioritizes partner satisfaction, team culture, innovation, and the delivery of tangible results.

Impact-Driven Leadership

Over the past three decades, McNeal has built a track record of redefining business partnerships. Her exceptional track record of driving strategic and effective partnerships for American Express is undeniable proof of the crucial role a “partner officer” plays in the growth and success of an organization.

Given her instrumental role in American Express’ success, it is no surprise that McNeal was recently bestowed with a new strategic position. American Express has officially introduced the role of chief partner officer, with McNeal appointed the first officer of this prestigious position. In 2020, she became the first Black woman to join the Executive Committee at American Express. 

In her new role as the Chief Partner Officer of the company, McNeal is responsible for shaping the partnership strategy of American Express. She takes charge of the crucial strategic initiatives and negotiations that span various industries, such as travel, technology, retail, media, sports, and entertainment. By harnessing the potential of these partnerships, McNeal enhances the suite of products, services, capabilities, and experiences offered by American Express. This approach not only engages customers but also ensures the enduring significance of American Express Membership across generations.

Before assuming her current position, McNeal was the President of Strategic Partnerships, overseeing the company’s crucial alliances. Before this, she served as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Global Client Group, spearheading significant advancements for both direct-to-consumer and B2B enterprises.

“Glenda has an exceptionally strong track record of spearheading critical partner agreements and navigating the complexity of large, global relationships to benefit both the company and our partners, and she will continue to do so in this expanded role, ” said Stephen J. Squeri, chairman and CEO of American Express’ holding company.

McNeal, a dominant figure in business partnerships, never fails to emphasize the impact of strategic relationships on American Express’ growth.

“Partnerships have proven to be critically important to the growth of our company, bringing additional value to the products and experiences that continue to engage our customers and drive the generational relevance of American Express Membership.”

In addition to her role at American Express, McNeal holds positions on the board of Nordstrom, Inc., and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Montclair Film Festival. McNeal is a graduate of Dillard University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.