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American Airlines Names Steve Johnson Vice Chair and Chief Strategy Officer

American Airlines has appointed Steve Johnson a Vice Chair and Chief Strategy Officer. In his expanded role, Mr. Johnson will lead and shape the carrier’s strategic efforts and initiatives, and will also have responsibility for American Eagle and American Airlines Cargo.


American Airlines' New Vice Chair and Chief Strategy Officer, Steve Johnson - Courtesy American Airlines

On Monday (May 8, 2023), American Airlines announced the appointment of Steve Johnson as the carrier’s Vice Chair and Chief Strategy Officer. Following the retirement of Derek Kerr, Mr. Johnson will have responsibility for the airline’s cargo and American Eagle regional operations, with a focus on developing new strategies for those businesses. American Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Regionals and Cargo, Heather Garboden will report to Johnson in his new role. Additionally, Johnson will continue to provide counsel to the CEO and Board, and collaborate with the senior leadership team on key markets, competition issues, corporate governance, corporate purpose and sustainability, policy development and external affairs, and labor relations strategy.


In Monday’s announcement, American Airlines’ CEO, Robert Isom, said,


“This is part of our long-term plan to continue strengthening our senior leadership team. Steve has served as an incredible leader and a trusted advisor to our airline over the past three decades, and to me personally throughout my first year as CEO. He will continue to guide our strategy, our focus on the economy and its impact on our business, and our corporate development, working closely with our board and senior leadership team. And I know our Regional and Cargo teams will excel under Steve’s leadership as those businesses continue to evolve and continue to provide outstanding service to customers throughout our global network.”


Also commenting on his new role as Vice Chair and Chief Strategy Officer, Steve Johnson, said,


“I’m thrilled to step into this new role at such an exciting time for American and the airline industry. I look forward to partnering with our board, Robert, and my friends and colleagues on our senior leadership team as we continue to re-imagine the business. As we embark on our next chapter, we are keenly focused on building a sustainable American Airlines, creating value for our customers and team members, and changing the value proposition for our shareholders.”

Steve Johnson joined America West in 1995 and held a variety of positions through 2003, including Executive Vice President – Corporate. Prior to that, he served as SVP and General Counsel at GPA Group PLC and practiced law at the Seattle-based firm Bogle & Gates. After America West, he became a partner at Indigo Partners LLC, a private equity firm specializing in airline industry investments, before joining U.S. Airways in 2009. From that time until 2022, he served as EVP – Corporate Affairs, and was responsible for corporate governance and legal affairs, government and regulatory affairs, labor relations, and real estate and airport affairs. Over the past year, he has served as American’s Executive Vice President and Strategic Advisor.


Steve Johnson is also a Member and Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of Wizz Air Holdings PLC. He earned an MBA and Juris Doctor From the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from California State University, Sacramento.


American Airlines’ purpose is to “Care for People on Life’s Journey.” Shares in the American Airlines Group, Inc., trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500.



Source: American Airlines

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