American Airlines’ restructuring of its global sales team will involve the departure of three experienced senior leaders, Skift has learned.
The reorganization impacts its U.S operations and includes a number of layoffs. Other global regions are set to follow, with the cuts coming just weeks ahead of its move to shift more of its airfares to direct retail channels, including its own website.
“… I want to let you know that we are going to be a more streamlined sales team going forward, doing much more focused and deliberate work in areas where customers need us, and operating with greater efficiency and effectiveness,” wrote Thomas Rajan, vice president of global sales, in an internal memo viewed by Skift.
According to the communication, three leaders will “transition out of their roles” due to the new structure. They are Michael Albers, interim managing director, central and southwest divisions and Canada; Louis de Joux, managing director, leisure and OTA; and Shane Hodges, managing director, sales Western division and Asia Pacific.
Jim Carter, the airline’s managing director of the Eastern Division, announced his retirement last week. In January this year, American Airlines announced chief customer officer Alison Taylor was retiring.
The memo said the airline would look at the “subsequent layers of the domestic sales organization to align with our new world of work and structure.”
Rajan wrote: “To be upfront with you, that will mean reductions across the team.” Regions including Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa, will also be affected.
“We’re continuously evaluating how best to serve our customers’ evolving preferences. For example, a big portion of them have shown us they want to interact directly with American. Others have needs to interact with us through intermediaries,” the memo, which was dated Feb. 16, added.
American Airlines told Skift that it emailed its corporate partners on Feb. 16, announcing it was reorganizing its North American-based sales team “to give us the ability to more quickly adapt to this evolving marketplace. This structure also allows us to deliver simpler solutions to intermediaries as well as provide a heightened focus for our customers’ entire travel ecosystem.”
Its email added: “As a result of these changes, we’re also evaluating our account management structure and will have more information to share in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please continue to partner with your dedicated account manager.”