There has been an interesting shakeup in the airline executive world this afternoon as American Airlines and United Airlines both name new company presidents.
American’s New President
American announced Robert Isom as their new President who will report directly to the Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. The 52-year-old began his airline career for Northwest Airlines in 1991. After being with Northwest until 2007, he became Chief Operating Officer for US Airways and led a turnaround for the airline’s operating performance and reliability. After the merger of US Airways and American Airlines in 2013, he became the Chief Operating Officer for American. Isom will be in charge of overseeing the airline’s operation and will be responsible for all revenues the airline acquires in his tenure.
Commenting on the appointment, Chairman and CEO Doug Parker stated, “Robert is a world-class executive, and extremely well-qualified to assume the role of president. He has played an important role in the success American has become, including leading our operational integration and building an outstanding team. Robert is an engaging leader with a talent for growing and inspiring the colleagues around him. As president of American Airlines, Robert will do great things for our team members, our customers and our shareholders.” Isom succeeds Scott Kirby, aged 49 who is to leave the airline immediately, becoming the President for United.
Parker also commented on Kirby’s departure saying, “Scott has been a key member of our team for over 20 years. We would not be where we are today without his leadership. The more than 100,000 team members of American Airlines – most notably me – will be forever grateful to Scott.”
United’s New President
Scott Kirby has departed American Airlines to become President at United. The 49-year-old will report to Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO effective immediately. Kirby began his career with America West Airlines in 1995 and was a key member of the executive branch, especially during the merger of America West and US Airways in 2005 as well as the US Airways and American merger in 2013. He was named president of US Airways in 2006 and after the merger took place with AA, he was appointed president of AA.
CEO Oscar Munoz commented on the appointment of Kirby saying, “Scott is a proven leader, whose deep airline experience and expertise will further accelerate our efforts to build the best airline in the industry. Scott’s appointment, along with other recent leadership announcements, is the culmination of the formation of my senior leadership team. This is just the latest step in our mission to be an agile and innovative industry leader.”
Kirby also stated his enthusiasm for joining the Chicago-based airline: “I am honored to be joining United at this important and exciting time and to have the opportunity to help accelerate the momentum the airline has achieved over the past year. I see real opportunity to build on the airline’s vast global network and, along with my 86,000 United teammates, create the world’s best airline for employees, customers, and shareholders.”
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