Kenneth I. Chenault, president and chief operating officer of American Express Co., took the stand Thursday in the Justice Department's case against Visa and MasterCard, offering a picture of Amex as both superior competitor and victim of the bank card associations' practices.

Mr. Chenault, who is to succeed Harvey Golub in early 2001 as Amex's chief executive officer and chairman, described in confessional-style testimony his company's mistakes, including decisions to turn down opportunities to offer cobranded cards with AT&T and American Airlines. He acknowledged that the company had been arrogant. Then Mr. Chenault portrayed Amex as a humbled company that has come to realize it needs banks' help to increase its card business in the United States and abroad.

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.