Expressed Out

Amex boss Robinson resigns shortly after winning a Pyrrhic victory

WALL STREET TAKES NO PRISONERS THESE DAYS, which James D. Robinson III, chairman for 15 years of American Express, discovered. The week began well enough when he faced down a timid board of directors. Some board members had sought to oust him, but he forced them to back down and got his protege, Harvey Golub, named chief executive officer. It seemed he had won the war over his succession, prompted by corporate missteps such as the acquisition of E.F. Hutton and faltering earnings. Wall Street, however, was not buying Robinson's triumph: in 10 minutes following the announcement, American Express shares lost...

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