Then: 3 World Financial Center; 100 Church; 140 Broadway; and 7 World Trade Center
Now: 3 World Financial Center
With nowhere else to meet one week after Sept. 11, American Express—which suffered the loss of 11 employees and a severely damaged its headquarters at 3 World Financial Center—CEO Kenneth Chenault gathered his New York employees in Madison Square Garden. “You cannot freeze up,” Chenault said of leadership in times of crisis, according to the Thunderbird School of Global Management. “You can’t allow the circumstances to stop you from acting.”
Before the attacks, the 51-story 3 World Financial Center headquarters housed 3,500 of the company’s employees, with a couple hundred scattered around the city in 7 World Trade Center, on Wall Street, and in other nearby locations. The severe damage sustained by 3 World Financial Center, however—just across the street from the site of the Twin Towers—forced American Express to move its headquarters temporarily across the river to Jersey City, N.J.
In May 2002, the company began moving employees back into the building it had called home since 1986. Today, all of American Express’ New York operations are run out of 3 World Financial Center.
“American Express was one of the first companies to return to its offices in Lower Manhattan,” the company told CNBC. It “has supported many initiatives to rebuild Lower Manhattan following the attacks of Sept. 11, including the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
"This year, the company is the lead contributor of the upcoming 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, which is set to be the largest day of service in U.S. history,” the company said.