DALLAS — American Airlines (AA) announced that Doug Parker, the former CEO, will be stepping down from his position as Chairman of the Board and will be replaced by Greg Smith. This news comes as Parker’s retirement is set for April 30 of this year.
Along with Parker, longtime board members Ray Robinson and Jim Albaugh will step down after their current terms expire. Smith’s appointment is part of AA’s long-term succession planning strategy.
Doug Parker has served AA for more than nine years as CEO and chair. When he became CEO in 2013, AA became the largest airline in the world following its merger with US Airways (US).
Greg Smith had served Boeing for more than 30 years, the majority of that time as Executive Vice President and CFO, before joining the AA board last year. Smith oversees Boeing’s activities, such as those of the manufacturing, operations, supply chain, quality, and program management teams.
Comments from Parker, Smith
Following his retirement, Doug Parker said, “Our CEO transition has been flawless thanks to the great work of Robert Isom, his team, and our board.”
“Now is the right time for our chairman transition and we are fortunate to have Greg Smith in place to assume that role. Greg has made outstanding contributions since joining American’s board, and his strong knowledge of the aviation industry and his decades of leadership experience will be invaluable going forward,” added Parker.
Mr.Smith following the announcement stated, “It’s an honor and privilege to serve as a board member and now as chairman of this iconic company.”
“Due to 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 great team as we lead American Airlines into the future,” he further added.
The current AA’s CEO Robert Isom stated, “The American Airlines team will be forever grateful to Doug for building our airline into what it is today.”
“On a personal note, I’m thankful for Doug’s partnership over the past year as I took on the CEO role. I look forward to continuing to work with the board and Greg in his new role as we shape the American Airlines of the future,” added Isom.
Along with Mr. Parker, Ray Robinson, and Jim Albaugh will exit from AA’s panel at the end of the present term, which overlaps with the company’s upcoming annual gathering of stockholders. Mr. Robinson and Mr.Albaugh have served on America’s board since 2005 and 2013, respectively.
Parker while commenting on Jim and Ray’s retirement said, “Ray and Jim have made tremendous contributions to the board over their careers.”
“American is in a position of industry leadership because of their experience, counsel, and sound judgment, and we are grateful for their many years of service,” added Mr. Doug.
At last Mr. Parker thanked independent director John Cahill for his leadership role at AA since 2013. Doug Parker first served AA as a financial analyst from 1986 to 1991 and since then has been part of the United States airline industry.
Feature Image: American Airlines N804AN Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways