10 Best CIOs to Watch 2018

Streamlining business travel: American Express Global Business Travel


Business tourism is a major contributor to the tourism industry. Officials and executives of various companies belonging to several types of industries regularly travel across the globe to conduct their company’s business. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a one-stop solution to all of your business travel needs. Ranging from a full-scale overhaul of a person’s program to offering travel advice to help you realize your company’s full potential; American Express is with you at every turn. In addition to business travel, American Express Global Business helps clients through every phase of their meeting or event, so they can achieve the results they’re after.    

When clients experience big wins at work, American Express knows that it has done its job.

At a large organization like American Express, it is paramount that all systems are run smoothly and the technology to manage operations is maintained up-to-date. This is the responsibility of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). David Thompson serves as the CTO of American Express Global Business Travel.

 As Chief Information Officer (CITO), David Thompson capitalizes on more than 25 years of experience to manage enterprise technology, application development, IT operations and data systems, information security and the product development teams at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

Thompson joined GBT after most recently overseeing IT strategy, operations, information security and product development as chief technology officer and executive vice president of global operations at Western Union, an international financial services company. His extensive background also includes previous chief technology and information officer positions at leading technology companies Symantec, Oracle and PeopleSoft.

He is an Award-winning CIO and respected technology leader with a wealth of expertise driving continuous improvement, business transformation, and innovation through technological advancement and end-to-end process enablement; benefiting from a proven track record in galvanizing a strong sales presence with unique credibility and energy to deliver cost reductions, operational performance, and competitive edge.

 A well connected, engaging and entrepreneurial change agent who optimizes resources, assets andstrategic alliances to positively influence growth, best practice and governance in highly competitive anddiverse customer-focused environments; with demonstrable financial and commercial acumen to deliver sustainable roadmaps, innovative solutions, and added value to any progressive organization and its clients.

►Executive Leadership - Empowering and ‘coaching’ leadership style to build high performing teams

►Operations Management - Optimizing governance, compliance, infrastructure & merger integrations

►Technology Innovation - IT/IS expertise with strong commercial/financial astuteness to deliver results

►Corporate Strategy - Delivering new technologies and solutions to resolve business challenges

►Business Transformation - Building, transforming and spearheading scalable and sustainable growth

►Change Management - Pioneering new products and thought leadership strategies for industry ‘firsts’

►Project Management - Full budget accountability to $898M and ownership of $1.3b programs 

While earning his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Marymount University, Thompson also served as an intelligence systems officer in the U.S. Air Force.

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) equips companies of all sizes with the insights, tools, services, and expertise they need to keep their travelers informed, focused and productive while on the road. With approximately 12,000 employees and operations in nearly 120 countries worldwide, GBT empowers customers to take control of their travel programs, optimizing the return on their travel and meetings investments, while, more importantly, and providing extraordinary traveler care.

The company’s Proactive Traveler Care services can swiftly take care of everything from a lost laptop to a plane delay—even if it’s at two in the morning, twelve time zones away from home. But American Global Express expert problem-solvers aren’t just focused on being the best at taking care of travel’s infinite details. They’re also focused on being the best in the world at taking care of people.

American Global Express Business Travel maintains a massive global network of registered locations to provide the maximum amount of convenience to travelers. It maintains about 58,000 properties in about 180 countries, many of which offer attractive perks like free breakfast and Wi-fi.

Here is one of the case studies that depict the success of American Global Express     

Increasing savings for many companies can be a long game strategy rather than an instantaneous win. This was true for one of American Global Express’s customers in Latin America, GRUPO ALFA, who has more than 50 subsidiaries and 10,000 travelers. One way they wanted to increase their savings was by consolidating all of their subsidiary travel programs and adopting an online booking strategy to alleviate their onsite booking. However, all of this would take considerable time and effort.

American Global Express rolled out a strategy which included a new, streamlined travel policy that included its online booking tool. This helped reduce the client’s ticket costs and offline booking fees while also providing online expertise and added amenities.

GRUPO ALFA’s travelers were very receptive to the changes since it meant their travel program allowed more mobility and booking flexibility.