American Airlines names insider Isom as CEO, Parker to retire in March

American Airlines Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker (R) poses with President Robert Isom. Courtesy American Airlines/via REUTERS

December 7, 2021

(Reuters) -American Airlines Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker will hand over reins of the No. 1 U.S. airline to president Robert Isom on March 31, the company said on Tuesday, sending its shares up 3% before the bell.

Parker will continue as chairman, while Isom will join the carrier’s board after he takes over as CEO.

The leadership change comes as the airline industry recovers from the lows hit during the pandemic but faces operational challenges due to the threat from Omicron variant.

Parker, who was named chairman and CEO of the Texas-based airline in 2013, said in a message to employees that the transition may have happened sooner if it was not for the pandemic, which brought the airline industry to its knees.

“I have worked with Robert for two decades and I am incredibly pleased that he will be the next CEO of American Airlines,” Parker said.

Isom, a longtime airline industry executive, took over as president of American Airlines in 2016 and has overseen the operations, planning, marketing and pricing.

With this change, American becomes the second major U.S. airline to promote an insider to the top job.

In June, Southwest Airlines Co named company veteran Robert Jordan as CEO in place of Gary Kelly, who will step down next year.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Arun Koyyur)

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Author: Shirley