News Column

US Airways Dominates Top Posts for New American Airlines

June 10, 2013
American Airlines airplane

Once the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways is completed, the airline's leadership posts will be dominated by US Airways executives.

Of the eight new senior executives named Monday to manage American after the merger, five will come from positions at US Airways, a smaller but financially more successful airline.

As previously announced, the new airline will be led by Chief Executive Doug Parker, who now holds the position of chief executive and chairman of US Airways.

On Monday, Parker announced that Scott Kirby, who has been president at US Airways since 2006, will hold the same post for the new American Airlines.

Others coming from US Airways include Elise Eberwein, who will be executive vice president for people and communications; Robert Isom, who will be chief operating officer; Steve Johnson, who will be executive vice president for corporate affairs; and Derek Kerr, who will be chief financial officer.

The three executives from American will be Bev Goulet, who will take the post of chief integration officer; Maya Leiberman, who will be chief information officer; and Will Ris, who will take the role of senior vice president for government affairs.

AMR, the parent company for American Airlines, is expected to emerge from bankruptcy later this year to begin the merger with US Airways.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines is ranked the third largest airline in the country, while Phoenix-based US Airways is ranked fifth.

It may be no surprise that US Airways dominates the leadership of the proposed combined airline.

While US Airways has enjoyed strong passenger demand and revenue growth over the past year or so, American has struggled in the same period with labor disputes, weak financial reports and incidents of airline seats coming lose during flights.

A union representing airline pilots at American Airlines voiced support for the new leadership.

"As preparations for merging with US Airways continue, we have the opportunity to transform every facet of American Airlines, including our corporate culture and customer service--two critical elements of operating an airline that we believe are inextricably linked," said Keith Wilson, president of the Allied Pilots Assn., which represents about 10,000 American Airlines pilots.

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Source: (c)2013 the Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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