1677325591 Former US CEO Doug Parker is stepping down as chairman

Former US CEO Doug Parker is stepping down as chairman — one mile at a time

American Airlines announced this week that former CEO Doug Parker will step down from his role as chairman.

Doug Parker resigns as chairman of American

Effective April 30, 2023, 61-year-old Doug Parker will step down from his current position as Chairman of American Airlines. Greg Smith, 56, will assume the role of chairman from that point on. This is described as part of the Board’s long-term succession planning process.

Smith joined American’s board of directors in January 2022 after spending more than 30 years at Boeing, most recently as EVP and CFO, leading operations, finance, strategy and shared services organizations. The press release went on to say that “he managed all of Boeing’s financial activities and had oversight of the company’s manufacturing, operations, supply chain, quality and program management teams” (that’s really something to be proud of and to highlight ?). 😉

Here’s what Doug Parker had to say about this transition:

“Our CEO transition went smoothly thanks to the great work of Robert Isom, his team and our board. Now is the right time to change our Chairman and we are fortunate to have Greg Smith taking on this role. Greg has made outstanding contributions since joining American’s Board of Directors, and his deep knowledge of the airline industry and decades of leadership experience will be invaluable going forward.”

Here’s what Greg Smith had to say about his new role:

“It is an honor and a privilege to be a member of the Board and now Chairman of this legendary company. Because of the leadership and dedication of Doug, Robert and the entire American team, we are well positioned to take the airline to the next level of excellence. The Board and I look forward to working with Robert and this amazing team as we lead American Airlines into the future.”

Here’s what American Airlines CEO Robert Isom had to say about this transition:

“The American Airlines team will forever be grateful to Doug for making our airline what it is today. Personally, I’m grateful for Doug’s partnership over the past year as I took on the role of CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and Greg in his new role in shaping the future of American Airlines.”

Former US CEO Doug Parker is stepping down as chairmanDoug Parker is leaving American entirely in April 2023

It’s not surprising that Parker is leaving American

Parker had an incredibly long career with American Airlines (and its predecessors), having served as American’s CEO from 2013 to 2021. That doesn’t even take into account the time he spent as CEO of America West and US Airways, as he spent a total of over 20 years as CEO of those three US airlines and oversaw two mergers.

So it comes as no surprise that he will not serve as Chairman for much longer, as I have always felt that this was only a temporary role during the transition. Keep in mind that when Parker transitioned into the chairman role, he didn’t get a senior position at the company, unlike what we’ve seen at some other airlines (like Southwest).

I think we saw that not much has changed with the move from Doug Parker to Robert Isom as CEO of American. That’s not too surprising given how many members of American’s senior management team have worked together for decades — American doesn’t hire many outsiders for senior positions.

With Robert Isom as CEO, it increasingly seems to me that Vasu Raja is running things in many ways, for better or for worse.

1677325588 977 Former US CEO Doug Parker is stepping down as chairmanParker was CEO of US airlines for over 20 years

bottom line

Effective April 2023, Doug Parker will step down as chairman of American Airlines, approximately two years after stepping down as CEO. When Parker retired as CEO of American, it was clear that it was going to be a pretty quick transition, and I think that reflects that.

The company’s chairman is now former Boeing executive Greg Smith, who was recruited as CEO shortly after Parker’s resignation was announced.

What do you think of Parker stepping down as chairman of American Airlines?