Vice President, Executive Talent Management and Consumer Services HR
American Express Co.
New York City
New York’s grittiness suits Kim Seymour just fine. “I was always a tell-it-like-it-is, straight, no-chaser type. That didn’t change. Actually, it probably blends in better up here than in the South!” Vice president of executive talent management and consumer card HR at American Express Co., Seymour was raised in a family that emphasized work ethic, education and achievement. “It never once occurred to me that I couldn’t be, have and do anything I wanted,” she says. She held leadership positions in human resources at Home Depot and General Electric before moving to New York from Georgia to join AMEX as vice president of human resources in the Corporate Card group. She was promoted to direct human capital strategy for the company’s executives worldwide, a role she keeps with her recent appointment as HR leader for the Consumer Services division.
Seymour has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, a law degree from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Indiana University. Her first job after graduate school involved working with unions “in one of the most challenging, intense GE businesses.” She explains: “I had many strikes against me in that environment: Black, female, lawyer, young. But that trial by fire gave me the best opportunities to show what I could do. I built my career on those experiences.”
Seymour battled breast cancer and won. “I try to prioritize my health now, although not always successfully! But I know that a good outcome after a cancer diagnosis often relies on early detection. I’m lucky that I have access to insurance and the best care,” she says. “If I didn’t love the career I have at AMEX, I would dedicate myself full time to helping ensure that those crucial tests were provided to the people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them.”