American Airlines chief to step down

American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker will be succeeded by the carrier’s president Robert Isom when he retires in March.

Isom also will join the airline’s board of directors, and Parker will continue to serve as chairman of American’s board.

Isom, who was named president in 2016, has more than 30 years of industry experience across finance, operations, planning, marketing, sales, alliances, pricing and revenue management.

He previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at American.

Parker (pictured right), previously head of US Airways, said: “It has been the privilege of my life to serve for 20 years as an airline CEO.

“I am forever grateful to the American team, whose commitment to taking care of each other and our customers has never wavered and will continue to drive our success going forward.”

He added: “I have worked with Robert for two decades and I am incredibly pleased that he will be the next CEO of American Airlines, which is truly the best job in our industry.

“Robert is a collaborative leader with deep operational expertise and global industry experience. His efforts to guide and support our team throughout the pandemic have been nothing short of phenomenal.

“We are well-positioned to take full advantage of our industry’s recovery, and now is the right time for a handoff we have planned and prepared for. I feel extremely fortunate to hand the reins to this clear and capable leader.”

Isom, former chief operating officer at US Airways, said: “Over the past several years, our airline and our industry have gone through a period of transformative change. And with change comes opportunity.

“Today, our more than 130,000 dedicated team members fly more people than any other US airline on the youngest fleet of all the network carriers, and we are positioned to continue to lead the industry as travel rebounds.”

Lead independent director John Cahill said: “The board views succession planning as one of our most important mandates, and today’s announcement represents the culmination of a thoughtful and well-crafted succession planning process.

“Robert is an excellent team builder who has worked to bring people together throughout his career. He is the right leader to carry American forward into its next period of growth.”

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