Kenneth I. Chenault
Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst
As a managing director at General Catalyst, Kenneth Chenault 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 toward global markets and responsible innovation as they scale their teams and products. As chairman, Chenault leverages his renowned leadership abilities and experience to continue to evolve General Catalyst into a formidable and enduring firm.
Prior to joining General Catalyst, Chenault was chairman and chief executive officer of American Express Company, a position he held from 2001–2018. 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.
Chenault 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 among the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” in its inaugural list in 2014.
Chenault serves on the boards of Airbnb, Facebook, IBM, the Procter & Gamble Company, the Harvard Corporation, and numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution’s Advisory Council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. He also serves on the board of trustees for NYU Langone Health.
Chenault 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.
He and his wife, Kathryn, live in New York City, and they have two sons.