NEW YORK (AP) -- American Express Co. has elected long-time pharmaceutical executive Daniel Vasella to its board of directors, the company said Friday.
Vasella, 58, will join the board immediately.
Vasella has been chairman of Novartis, a Swiss drug company, since 1999. Before that, he was CEO of Sandoz Pharma Ltd., a company that merged with Ciba-Geigy Ltd. in 1996 to create Novartis.
American Express board members received $115,000 in fees, plus $150,000 in stock awards, in 2011, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Vasella also serves on the board of PepsiCo.
He has a medical degree from the University of Bern in Switzerland and has trained at the Harvard Business School.
American Express closed down 42 cents at $55.81 Friday.