American Airlines Group has announced that Doug Parker is retiring from his role as CEO of American Airlines as of March 31, 2022. Parker will be succeeded by American’s current president Robert Isom, who will also join the airline’s Board of Directors. Parker will continue as American’s Chairman of the Board.
In a statement, Parker said, “It has been the privilege of my life to serve for 20 years as an airline CEO. I am eternally grateful to the American team, whose commitment to taking care of each other and our customers has never wavered and will continue to drive our success in the future.”
Parker was named chairman and CEO in 2013, after having led a merger of the beleaguered American with its much smaller competitor, US Airways. More recently, he forged the Northeast Alliance with JetBlue and navigated the airline through the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.
For the past two years, Parker has guided the airline through a time of “extreme uncertainty” in the aviation industry, making plans to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis “smaller than we might like.” Nevertheless, the airline took the lead early in offering pre-flight testing, and continues to restart and expand its network as the industry recovers.
Isom, who has more than 30 years of experience in finance, operations, planning, marketing, sales, alliances, pricing and revenue management, was named American’s president in 2016.
Isom said he is “honored” to be named CEO, and added, “Over the past few years, our airline and our industry have gone through a period of transformational change. And along with change comes opportunity. Today, our more than 130,000 dedicated team members fly more people than any other US airline in the youngest fleet of any airline in the network, and we are positioned to continue to lead the industry as travel rebounds.”
Calling Isom “a collaborative leader,” Parker commented, “I have worked with Robert for two decades and am incredibly pleased that he is going to be the next CEO of American Airlines, which is truly the best job in our industry.”