PayPal Inc. has hired an American Express Co. veteran, Leonard Shen, as its chief compliance officer.

Shen, who was most recently Amex's chief compliance and ethics officer, will handle legal and regulatory compliance for PayPal, a unit of eBay Inc., in all markets. He reports to Scott Thompson, PayPal's president, and PayPal's board of directors.

Thompson said in a blog post Thursday that Shen's experience is crucial to a company that operates in so many different regions around the world.

"To be successful managing a payments business on a global scale, you have to have a deep understanding of the rules governing each market where you operate, and a global framework for managing operational and compliance risks," Thompson wrote. Shen brings "fantastic experience" from Amex as well as positions in the U.S. Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Thompson wrote.