Leadership team of new American Airlines gets heavy US Airways stamp
US Airways CEO Parker and American Airlines Chairman, President and CEO Horton announce the planned merger of American Airlines and US Airways during a news conference at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport. Mike Stone / Reuters
Parker basically promised the unions that US Airways would be running the show at the new American, and he’s delivering on that promise.
It was one of the worst-kept secrets of the US Airways-American Airlines merger that the smaller US Airways would be running the show post-merger, but the leadership changes announced a couple of days ago blast that fact to the world.
As expected, current US Airways chairman and CEO Doug Parker becomes CEO of the new American, US Airways president Doug Kirby becomes president, and AMR Corp. chairman, president and CEO Tom Horton takes on the chairman post, but will depart in about a year.
Of the eight executive positions, including Kirby as president, announced this week, five go to current US Airways executives, and three posts will be assumed by American Airlines officials.
In addition, the two airlines announced that American Eagle CEO Dan Garton would be leaving his post later this year, and you’d have to think that someone from US Airways or from outside the AMR Corp. and U.S. Airways fiefdoms would be named to fill that role.
There are no immediate changes expected at American Eagle, although in the future the new American may look to sell it.
In the reshuffle, current US Airways executives get the key positions of president, CFO and COO at the new American. And, of course Parker will be CEO, as well.
The merged airline will retain from the American Airlines side Beverly Goulet as chief integration officer, Maya Liebman as chief information officer, and William Ris as senior vice president of government affairs.
The retention of Goulet and Liebman makes a lot of sense because Parker long has said that one lesson he learned from the AmericaWest and US Airways merger was that the technology system of the smaller airline should be integrated into the technology system of the larger airline rather than the reverse.
And, that’s the plan for the new American, with American Airlines’ reservation system from Sabre taking the lead role.
Meanwhile, here is the makeup of the new American’s board of directors.