As news of American Express' plans to "reengineer" its card business reached the public last week, the New York-based company's 71,000 employees received a six-page letter from their top executives.

Harvey Golub, chairman and chief executive of American Express Co., and Kenneth I. Chenault, president of Travel Related Services in the United States, laid out straightforwardly why American Express must eliminate up to 6,000 jobs.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.