James D. Robinson III

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James D. Robinson III

James Dixon Robinson III (born November 19, 1935, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American businessman best known for his position as the chief executive officer of American Express Co. from 1977 until his retirement in 1993.[1]


Robinson attended Woodberry Forest School and is a 1957 graduate of Georgia Tech's School of Industrial Management[2] where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity.[3] He earned an MBA from Harvard in 1961.[4]

Business career

American Express

James D. Robinson III served as Chairman & CEO of the American Express Company for approximately 16 years. He held additional positions at the company prior to that. While at American Express, Robinson launched a thwarted hostile takeover of McGraw-Hill, purchased Shearson Lehman, IDS, First Data Corporation, and several others. He co-created Warner-Amex with Steve Ross.[5] He played a prominent role in the RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout battle as chronicled in the book Barbarians at the Gate. Actor Fred Thompson played Robinson in the 1993 movie.

Other positions

Robinson has been a director of The Coca-Cola Company since 1975.[6] He is a general partner and co-founder of RRE Ventures, a private information technology venture investment firm, along with his son, James D. Robinson IV, a venture capitalist, and a classmate of his son from Harvard Business School, Stuart J. Ellman. Robinson is also president of J.D. Robinson, Inc., a strategic consulting firm. He was previously a long-time Director and Chairman of Bristol-Myers Squibb, and of Violy, Byorum & Partners, which operated in South America.[1]

Robinson also serves on the Boards of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company Inc. and PrimeRevenue,[7] and is honorary chairman of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Robinson is a member of the Business Council and the Council on Foreign Relations, and an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution and World Travel & Toursim Council, where he was a co-founder. In previous years, he served as co-chairman of the Business Roundtable and chairman of the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is currently a member of investment bank Jefferies' Global Senior Advisory Board.[8]

Personal life

Both Robinson and his son James D. Robinson IV are members of the Augusta National Golf Club.


  1. ^ a b Olan, Kerry A. (September 20, 1999). "The return of Jimmy Three Sticks". Forbes. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  2. ^ Schwartz, Jerry (Summer 1993). "On His Own". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 March 2005. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  3. ^ "DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI OF CHI PHI FRATERNITY". Chi Phi Fraternity. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  4. ^ "James D. Robinson III". NNDB. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  5. ^ Bob Pittman (July 28, 1991). "COVER STORY : The Man Behind the Monster : It may be hard to recall life before MTV, but Bob Pittman, who shaped and sold the concept, remembers it well". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "James D. Robinson III". Board of Directors. The Coca-Cola Company. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013.
  7. ^ "PrimeRevenue Announces Board, Executive Appointment and Continues Growth".
  8. ^ Global Senior Advisory Board

External links

  • Biography on the RRE website
  • Profile on Forbes
  • BusinessWeek profile
Business positions
Preceded by
Howard L. Clark Sr.
CEO of American Express
Succeeded by
Harvey Golub

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