James M. Cracchiolo on Thursday was named president of American Express Co. Travel Related Services International.

He succeeded Thomas O. Ryder, who resigned several weeks ago to become chief executive of Readers Digest Association Inc.

Mr. Cracchiolo, 40, was president of global network services, reporting to Mr. Ryder and responsible for American Express' international partnerships with banks and other companies. In his new position, he reports to Kenneth I. Chenault, president and chief operating officer.

Under Mr. Cracchiolo's leadership, American Express increased its partners abroad to 32 from about seven two years ago. American Express launched a strategy in 1996 to build a base of partners to increase the number of cards and merchants it has in other countries, and Mr. Cracchiolo focused squarely on executing that strategy.

In his new role, he is responsible for increasing the size of two of the three businesses-international partnerships and international products- American Express has said it wants grow.

The third business is the financial advisers business unit.

"I am going to continue to move forward in our strategy to increase our earnings," said Mr. Cracchiolo. "We have a very strong global brand that we will continue to build upon."

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