Senior Leadership Team Streamlined, Reduced in Size
American Airlines announced the retirements of two company
officers Tuesday, as well as a series of changes to the company's
global leadership team.
Robert W. Reding, Executive Vice President – Operations,
and Mark L. Burdette, Vice President – Employee Relations,
will retire Dec. 31. Monte Ford, Senior Vice President and Chief
Information Officer (CIO), has resigned effective Dec. 31.
"We are fortunate to have so many talented leaders to fill some
big shoes during a very critical time," said Tom Horton, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines. "The changes
we're announcing today will ensure continuity in each role, while
enabling us to broaden our team's experience and capabilities
– something that will be important as we lead American
through the restructuring and reaffirm its position of leadership
in the global airline industry."
Reding, a 40-year veteran of the aviation industry, has served
in a variety of senior leadership roles for American and American
Eagle Airlines, including Chief Operations Officer for American
Eagle. Reding previously served as Chief Executive Officer of
Canadian Regional Airlines and Reno Air. Reding also served as Vice
President of Flight Operations at Midway Airlines and held various
senior management positions at Air Florida. He was an officer and
pilot flight examiner with the U.S. Air Force and has accumulated
10,000-plus hours as a commercial pilot.
"I've had the distinct honor and pleasure to work with Bob for
many years. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to
American and its employees, and we have benefited from his counsel,
insight and wisdom throughout a very difficult and challenging
decade with the company," said Horton.
Reding's role will not be filled. Instead, some of his
responsibilities will be assumed by James B. Ream, who is named
Senior Vice President – Operations. Effective upon Reding's
retirement in December, Ream will take over additional
responsibility for the Flight Operations, Operations Planning &
Performance, Operations Finance & Planning, and Safety,
Security and Environmental departments, in addition to his role
overseeing M&E. Ream will report directly to Horton. Tom Del
Valle, Senior Vice President – Airport Services, currently
reporting to Reding, also will report to Horton.
"Under Jim's guidance, we've begun retooling many aspects of our
M&E organization, making it a smarter, more efficient operation
that is grounded in a rigorous culture of safety," said Horton. "We
have much work to do as we continue strengthening our domestic and
global network, and begin implementing our transformational fleet
strategy. We're confident Jim can tackle these challenges head-on
while ensuring the safe operation of our 3,300 daily flights
Burdette, a 20-year veteran of American, has had an extensive
career in the ER organization, holding a variety of strategic
positions. He has served as primary liaison between the airline and
the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American's pilots,
and served as point person between the airline and the company's
Horton said, "Mark has led many successful union negotiations
over the years. His wealth of experience and his collaborative
approach to bargaining made him a great asset to the company."
Replacing Burdette is Denise Lynn, who is named Vice President
– Employee Relations. Lynn will lead an ER team responsible
for relations with all of American's employee groups. Lynn will
provide support to American's 74,000 employees, as well as lead
collective bargaining efforts with the company's unionized work
groups. "Denise is a real 'people person' and a great leader who
has a deep commitment to developing people and creating a
respectful and productive working environment," said Horton.
Widely regarded as a leader in the field of information
technology (IT), Ford has been honored by many publications and
technology industry organizations for his insight and
accomplishments. According to Horton, Ford joined American at a
time when the airline needed to regain its position as a
technological leader in business. "Since joining American in 2001,
Monte has been relentlessly focused on restoring American to the
forefront of technological innovation, and he's made it happen.
Monte's commitment to customer-enabling technology and persistent
motivation to see that technology effectively implemented in our
business will have a lasting effect," said Horton. "Monte is a
visionary and it's understandable that – having accomplished
what he set out to do – he's ready to move on to another
technology turnaround challenge worthy of the specialized expertise
and dedication he has to offer."
Succeeding Ford is Maya Leibman, who is promoted to Senior Vice
President and CIO. In her new role, Leibman will lead the company's
IT strategy and operations, including the continued deployment of
next-generation technology to improve customer service and
efficiency. She will report to Horton. "Maya's diverse experience
with American, coupled with her enthusiasm for tackling tough
challenges and her insatiable appetite for innovation make her the
perfect candidate to lead our IT organization," said Horton. "Maya
brings a unique perspective to the CIO role, having worked so
closely with American's best customers in her position as President
of AAdvantage. She is both passionate about our customers and
experienced in leveraging technology to serve them best."
In a related announcement, American named Beverly Goulet Chief
Restructuring Officer (CRO), a role she will serve in addition to
her current position as Vice President – Corporate
Development and Treasurer. As CRO, Goulet will head the development
and implementation of the company's restructuring efforts,
including procedures and processes designed to immediately improve
the core business, as well as cohesive strategies aimed at ensuring
the long-term survival and success of American. Goulet will
continue reporting to Chief Financial Officer Bella Goren.
"Bev's experience handling complex, business-critical
transactions during the past 18 years made her selection as CRO an
easy one," said Horton. "While restructuring will help us to
improve our financial position and make us more competitive, it
will require an unprecedented level of coordination across
functional and geographic areas of our business. Bev understands
this and has the focused intensity and leadership skills necessary
to get the job done right."