Leadership change at American Airlines; CEO Doug Parker to retire
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines is set for a leadership shakeup.
CEO Doug Parker announced on Tuesday that he will retire on March 31, paving the way for current American Airlines President Robert Isom to take over as CEO.
Parker’s retirement will cap a run in which he reshaped both American – and the U.S. airline industry as a whole – in his role as a chief executive.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!
Parker’s first stint as CEO came at America West, where he took over the top spot in 2001 – just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks set the industry on its heels.
Parker guided the Phoenix-based low-cost carrier through that crisis, and then set the airline on a course that would dramatically alter the landscape of the U.S. aviation industry.
Next came a merger with East Coast-based US Airways.
Parker’s America West was the acquiring carrier, but his airline assumed the more-widely recognized brand of US Airways. The 2005 deal transformed America West, now US Airways, into a national player that had hubs across the U.S. – notably in Phoenix, Charlotte and Philadelphia. Two other landmark hubs of the combined company — Las Vegas and Pittsburgh — would ultimately be dropped in the 2000s.
There was still one more acquisition to come.
That came in 2012 with a shocking bid by US Airways to acquire much larger American Airlines, which was then reorganizing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. American initially was cool to the deal, but Parker’s team won over labor groups at American in a move that eventually paved the way for a deal to proceed a year later after forcing American’s management team to the table.
The American-US Airways merger closed in 2013, with Parker’s airline again taking the name of the better-known brand of its new partner.
The tie-up came after a wave of consolidation had swept through the U.S. industry. Four big mergers that were announced between 2008 and 2013– United-Continental, Delta-Northwest and Southwest-AirTran – reshaped the competitive landscape of the U.S. market.
But it was American’s merger with US Airways that left it as the world’s biggest airline. And soon – for the first time since that 2013 deal – the carrier will be turning to a new leader to go forward.
“I’m extraordinarily excited about the future of American with Robert as our next leader,” Parker said in a Tuesday morning letter to employees. “I have no doubt that the best is yet to come for American, and no one will be cheering louder for all of you than I will.”
Featured photo by Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees