American Express Co. announced the retirement of vice chairman and chief financial officer Richard Goeltz.

Mr. Goeltz, 57, said he plans to take part in the search for a successor and stay on through the transition.

He joined the company as a member of the office of the chief executive in August 1996 after serving as CFO of Natwest Group in London. A native of Illinois, he previously worked for Exxon Corp. and Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.

American Express chairman and chief executive officer Harvey Golub issued a memorandum Thursday saying that Mr. Goeltz "has decided to retire from corporate life."

Mr. Golub said Mr. Goeltz "made a number of important contributions," including integration of worldwide financial reporting systems and improved relations with the investment community.

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