American Express Co. hired Josh Silverman, former chief executive of Internet communications business Skype Technologies SA, to lead its U.S. consumer services businesses starting early next month.
Silverman had led Skype -- a service that connects millions of users around the world via Internet-based telephone and video -- until mid-2010. Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy the operation for $8.5 billion in May 2011 from a group of investors including Silver Lake Partners. EBay Inc. had acquired Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, but sold a 70% stake in 2009 as it proved a bad fit.
"In Josh we have found an executive with a track record as both a visionary entrepreneur and an effective leader for amazing growth companies," American Express Vice Chairman Ed Gilligan said in a statement Thursday, also touting Silverman's "consumer experience and digital marketing expertise."
Since leaving Skype, Silverman has had an executive-in-residence post at venture capital firm Greylock Ventures, known for its investments in Facebook and Groupon.
AmEx's U.S. consumer services unit provides the company's domestic consumer cards and travel services. The company has benefited lately from rising spending among its borrowers--mostly well-heeled consumers and companies.
Shares recently traded at $48.62, up 1.1%. The stock has gained about 28% the past year.
Matt Jarzemsky is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.