American Express CEO shares his intense daily routine — 17-hour days that start at 5:45 am and end at 10:30 pm. He answers emails for 3 hours.

Andrew Landry, center, holds the trophy with Phil Mickelson, left, and CEO of American Express Steve Squeri
Stephen Squeri took over as CEO of American Express in 2018 after Kenneth Chenault stepped down from the position in 2017.Alex Gallardo/Associated Press
  • Amex CEO Steve Squeri eats a Chopt salad at his desk every day, the Financial Times reports.

  • Squeri works 17-hour days that start as soon as he's on the way to work, he told the FT.

  • He says he spends 3 hours each night answering more than 150 customer emails.

The CEO of American Express has 17-hour work days — and they include eating a Chopt salad for lunch at his desk each afternoon, and spending three hours each night answering customer emails.

CEO Steve Squeri leaves home within 15 minutes of waking up at 5:45 a.m., and works in the car on his way to the office, the Financial Times reported. He manages to squeeze in a workout on his stationary bike before he begins a 4-hour window of meetings, he told the FT.


The 64-year-old has been chairman and CEO of American Express since 2018 — and he earned more than $48 million in total compensation in 2022, according to the company's 2023 proxy statement.

"I'm an example of how anybody can get to the top with a lot of hard work," Squeri told FT.

He described his days as "intense." And the work doesn't really end until an hour before bedtime, when he winds down from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., before calling it a day.

The three hours before he settles down are spent answering between 150 and 200 customer emails, he said. "I read and answer every single one," he told the FT. "We say we're a membership model. How do you ignore them?"

Being CEO is a "24/7 job," Squeri said. He said tries to avoid working on Friday nights, but spends about five hours on Sundays prepping for the upcoming workweek.

Here's his full daily schedule, according to the FT:

5:45 a.m. — Wake up.

6:00 a.m. — Leave for work and read emails in the car.

6:45 a.m. — Exercise with a 30-minute stationary bike ride in the office, along with fruit and tea for breakfast.

8 a.m. — Begin day's meetings.

12 p.m. — Eat a Chopt salad at his desk.

12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. — More meetings and other work, including dropping by the cafeteria for snacks to be seen by employees and "break the monotony of the day.

5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. — Take phone calls on his way home; then dinner.

7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. — Answer 150 to 200 customer emails.

10:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. — An hour of unwinding before bed.

Representatives for American Express didn't immediately respond to Insider's attempts to speak with Squeri.

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