Gone Fishing? Delta’s Anderson announces his retirement

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 9, 2016 00:22

Gone Fishing? Delta’s Anderson announces his retirement

Last week, Delta Air Lines announced that its chief executive, Richard H. Anderson, who has has been at the helm of the Atlanta-based carrier since September 2007, will retire from the role on May 2, 2016.  At that time, he will be elevated to Executive Chairman of the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors.

Dan Carp, chairman of Delta’s Board of Directors described Anderson as an “outstanding leader and CEO”, praising his “unique combination of strategic and operating skills” and his “commitment to employees, corporate culture, customers and shareholders [that] has redefined Delta and led to an entirely new and better way of flying around the world.”

Carp also highlighted the fact that the succession plan, which elevates Ed Bastian, current president of Delta to the CEO role, has been “several years in the making and will keep Delta on top of the global industry.”

Glen Hauenstein, Executive Vice President, will be appointed President of Delta, also effective May 2, 2016.  Gil West is promoted immediately to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“Ed has been a critical part of Delta’s success,” added Carp. “He is an exceptional leader and has been an invaluable partner in leading the remarkable transformation of Delta over the last decade.  Likewise, Glen and Gil are extraordinary leaders who have led the transformation of Delta’s network, product and operations.

Effective immediately, the Board of Directors also appoints Steve Sear, President International and Executive Vice President Global Sales.  Steve will lead the Atlantic,
Asia-Pacific, and Latin America organizations in addition to global sales.

Upon Richard Anderson’s appointment as Executive Chairman on May 2, 2016, Frank Blake, a current Delta Director, will be appointed Lead Director of the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors.  Dan Carp will step down as non-executive Chairman and remain on the Board of Directors of Delta.

In a letter to employees, Anderson thanked them for the “opportunity to serve you, our customers, and our shareholders,” adding that he would miss the company and his colleagues.

Although Anderson doesn’t officially leave until May, his previous reports are now reporting to Bastion.

According to the letter, Anderson states that he will spend his retirement with his wife and learning to wade fish riding a paddle for fishing kayak. However, popular (and completely unsubstantiated) market rumours suggests it is entirely plausible he may decide to set up an aircraft asset management company focused on purchasing widebodies at significantly lower cost than others in the industry…

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus as “a public health emergency” the Centers for Disease Control has advised pregnant women not to travel to affected areas but they are not yet restricting travel for everyone. For airlines, this means they are not required to refund ticket payments for flights into affected countries, but many have been offering pregnant women and their companions the option for refunds or alterations on flights to Central and South America.

Airline launches new routes to South America, such as Emirates new service to Panama from Dubai starts on March 31 – the world’s longest non-stop flight, will be impacted by the Zika outbreak, although the virus is unlikely to a severe an impact as the Ebola outbreak where flights were cancelled.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 9, 2016 00:22