Former American Airlines CEO Doug Parker will step down as chairman and leave the carrier’s board of directors in April. The move ends his decade-long tenure in at the airline that began in 2013 after he successfully orchestrated American’s merger with US Airways.
Current board member Greg Smith will replace Parker as the independent chairman of American’s board effective April 30, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said Thursday. The transition from Parker to Smith is part of the board’s long-term succession plans, American added.
“The American Airlines team will be forever grateful to Doug for building our airline into what it is today,” CEO Robert Isom said. “On a personal note, I’m thankful for Doug’s partnership over the past year as I took on the CEO role. I look forward to continuing to work with the board and Greg in his new role as we shape the American Airlines of the future.”
Parker has been chairman of American’s board since June 2014. He was CEO until last March when he stepped down and passed the reins to Isom, who was then president of American. Prior to Parker taking the lead of American in December 2013, he was CEO of US Airways and America West Airlines dating back to 2001.
It is not uncommon for a former airline CEO to chair a carrier’s board after they step down from the top management job, and then depart after about a year. For example, Oscar Munoz, who led United Airlines from 2015 to 2020, chaired the carrier’s board for exactly a year after passing the CEO job to Scott Kirby.
Smith joined American’s board as a director in January 2022. Prior to that, he was the chief financial officer of Boeing.