The New American Airlines Senior Executive Team Announced

American and US Airways announced today the senior executive team that will lead the airline after the merger.

Five of the leaders will come from US Airways, three will come from American, and seven current American executives will be leaving.

As previously announced, Tom Horton will serve as Chairman and Doug Parker will be be the CEO.

Here’s the lineup.

Joining from US Airways:

• Scott Kirby, 45, President: responsibilities include planning, marketing, sales, alliances, pricing/yield management and operations

• Elise Eberwein, 48, Executive Vice President, People and Communications: responsible for human resources, media relations, internal communications, social media and public affairs

• Robert Isom, 49, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of US Airways, Inc. post-close: responsible for all aspects of airline operations, including customer service, flight operations, maintenance, regional carrier management, cargo, safety and security

• Stephen Johnson, 56, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs: responsibilities include corporate and legal affairs, government and regulatory affairs, labor relations, and real estate

• Derek Kerr, 48, Chief Financial Officer: responsible for oversight of all financial areas, including financial planning and analysis, corporate finance and treasury functions, purchasing, controller and audit functions and investor relations

Joining from American:

• Beverly Goulet, 58, Chief Integration Officer: will lead the complex integration process of merging American Airlines and US Airways into one airline

• Maya Leibman, 47, Chief Information Officer: responsible for all information technology systems, including systems development, infrastructure, and planning

• William Ris, 65, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs: responsible for all federal and international government and regulatory affairs and public policy

These American executives will be departing:

• Dan Garton, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Airlines

• Bella Goren, Chief Financial Officer

• Gary Kennedy,Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Office

• Denise Lynn, Senior Vice President – People

• Jim Ream,Senior Vice President – Operations

• Jon Snook, Senior Vice President – Customer Service

• Virasb Vahidi, Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer

In a memo to employees, which was printed by Andrea Ahles on the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram’s SkyTalk blog, Doug Parker wrote:

“Mergers unfortunately result in departures, and there are some on both teams, but I want to use this opportunity to specifically thank some of the outstanding senior executives at American.”

“The American restructuring is far and away the most successful in aviation history and it would not be possible without the exceptional and dedicated work of people like Dan Garton, Bella Goren, Gary Kennedy, Denise Lynn, Jim Ream, Jon Snook and Virasb Vahidi.”

Tom Horton’s comments from the press release:

“Through their commitment to our company they have helped build an airline that delivers on our promise to our customers and to all the communities American serves,” Horton said. “American’s leaders will continue to work very closely with their counterparts throughout the merger planning to build upon the momentum everyone has worked so hard to create.”

Also announced, the post merger Board of Directors.

If you’re trying to follow the changes, Terry Maxon details the current lineup of executives from both airlines and there are still a number of leadership positions that haven’t been announced.

Two positions I’ve been following with interest are still undecided. Who will end up in charge Customer Experience and who will run the AAdvantage program?


  1. Better be an AA employee. Let’s pray they run this new airline like American and not US Airways, especially if they want to keep business travelers

    • @ Steven – I think a lot fo people feel the same way. Dividend Miles has always been a solid program, so the folks at US have a good track record when it comes to running a rewarding their frequent fliers. I’m hoping that when they look at Delta’s SkyMiles they see it as an example of how not to run a loyalty program.

      @ Cook – You’re right, those are both difficult jobs. I’d add that Scott Kirby, Elise Eberwein, Robert Isom are all going to have a lot of work to do too. Fortunately, they’re a smart group of people, and some of them have already been through a merger, so I think there’s reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the outcome.

      @ David – Suzanne Rubin is still in charge of AAdvantage. There’s not been an announcement yet as to about which positions will still exist after the merger and who will fill them. Now that they senior leadership team has been selected, I figure each of these executives will turn their attention to those very questions.

      @ Michael W – Kris is right. The creditors’ committee voted they preference for the US Airways plan, so even though US is the smaller carrier, they are they buyer (in a way), and they enjoy the confidence of both creditors and investors, so that’s why they have so much influence in how they airline will look, post-merger.

      @ Kris – Thanks for reading and for the comment!

      @ Jim – Doug Parker gave an interview to the New York Times and said” there would be a “one-to-one transfer of miles (one Dividend mile will equal one AAdvantage mile)”.

  2. An impressive team. The two that my genuine empathy are Beverly Goulet and Maya Leibman. Those two women bear the majority load in melding two substantial airlines into one mega-carrier. As we’ve seen with other mergers, just combining the customer interfaces is a nearly impossible task. These two also have to meld the many systems and practices that the customer never sees. I wish them the best – and suspect that both are already burning through 80-90 hour weeks. I suspect that they are paid far better than either airline’s professional staffs. Good luck, ladies!

  3. I was also wondering who would be running AAdvantage when I read about this earlier.

    I also don’t fully understand why the smaller airline will have more representation in running the show.

  4. Any proof that US airways miles will be converted 1 to 1 to Advantage miles?

    looks more like US airways miles will be wasted soon. Redeem for gift cards?

  5. @Michael
    Who is in bankruptcy and who is not? Simple decision on management.

    There is absolutely no way they would consider converting at anything but parity. No chance.

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