Makes Leadership Changes
By Shane Nolan
December 6, 2011 - American Airlines today announced the
retirements of two company officers, as well as a series
of changes to the company's global leadership team.
Robert W. Reding, Executive Vice President of Operations
and Mark L. Burdette, Vice President – Employee
Relations will retire at the end of this month. Monte
Ford, Senior Vice President and Chief Information
Officer (CIO), has resigned effective December 31.
James B. Ream is named Senior Vice President of Operations, assuming additional responsibility for Flight Operations, Operations Planning & Performance, Operations Finance & Planning, and the Safety, Security and Environmental Departments, in addition to his current role overseeing Maintenance & Engineering (M&E).
Denise Lynn, currently Vice President, Flight Service, will move to the role of Vice President of Employee Relations, Maya Leibman, currently President of the AAdvantage Loyalty Program, is promoted to Senior Vice President and CIO and Beverly Goulet is named Chief Restructuring Officer, in addition to her continuing role as Vice President – Corporate Development and Treasurer
"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
Robert W. Reding, Executive Vice President –
Operations, will retire Dec. 31, after 12 years of service to
the company. 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 benefitted
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
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 worldwide."
Lynn Takes On Crucial Role Overseeing Employee Relations. Also retiring
Dec. 31 is Mark L. Burdette, a 20-year veteran of American who most
recently served as Vice President – Employee Relations (ER). Burdette
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."
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.
Ford, Senior Vice President and CIO, has resigned effective Dec. 31.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
James B. "Jim"
Ream, Senior Vice President – Operations: Ream joined American in 2010
as Senior Vice President of Maintenance & Engineering, responsible for
all of American's maintenance operations worldwide. Previously, he was
Chief Executive Officer of ExpressJet, a company with 244 aircraft
flying under the Continental Express brand, as well as corporate and
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