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  • Joe Breitfeller

American Airlines Succession Plan: Robert Isom to Become CEO in March 2022, Parker Remains Chairman

Today, American Airlines announced their leadership succession plan with company President Robert Isom to become Chief Executive Officer on March 31, 2022, and retiring CEO Doug Parker to continue as Chairman.


Left to Right: American Airlines' President Robert Isom and Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker. Mr. Parker will retire as CEO on March 31, 2022 and Continue as the Company's Chairman of the Board of Directors, at Which Time, Isom will become American's CEO and also join the Company's Board - Courtesy American Airlines

On Tuesday (December 7, 2021), American Airlines announced their leadership succession plan. Company Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker will retire on March 31, 2022 and will be succeeded by American’s President Robert Isom. Mr. Parker will continue as the company’s Chairman, and Robert Isom will also join the American Airlines Board of Directors at that time. Isom has served as American’s President since 2016 and brings over 30 years of global industry and leadership experience across finance, operations, planning, marketing, sales, alliances, pricing and revenue management.


In today’s announcement, American Airlines’ current CEO, Doug Parker, said,


“I have worked with Robert for two decades and I am incredibly pleased that he will be the next CEO of American Airlines, which is truly the best job in our industry. Robert is a collaborative leader with deep operational expertise and global industry experience. His efforts to guide and support our team throughout the pandemic have been nothing short of phenomenal. We are well-positioned to take full advantage of our industry’s recovery, and now is the right time for a handoff we have planned and prepared for. I feel extremely fortunate to hand the reins to this clear and capable leader.


“It has been the privilege of my life to serve for 20 years as an airline CEO. I am forever 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 going forward.”


Details of Doug Parker's Aviation Industry Achievements - Infographic Courtesy American Airlines

Also commenting on his upcoming role as American’s new CEO, Robert Isom, said,


“I am humbled to serve as CEO of American Airlines. Over the past several years, our airline and our industry have gone through a period of transformative change. And with change comes opportunity. Today, our more than 130,000 dedicated team members fly more people than any other U.S. airline on the youngest fleet of all the network carriers, and we are positioned to continue to lead the industry as travel rebounds.


“I want to thank Doug for his partnership over the past two decades. He is a leader and teacher who inspires all around him and leaves an incredible legacy at American and in our industry. Looking ahead, I am deeply honored to be working alongside the best team in the industry and know that we will achieve great things together.”


Detail's of Robert Isom's Industry and Leadership Experience - Courtesy American Airlines

Further commenting on the leadership succession plan, American Airlines’ Lead Independent Director, John Cahill, added,


“The board views succession planning as one of our most important mandates, and today’s announcement represents the culmination of a thoughtful and well-crafted succession planning process. Robert is an excellent team builder who has worked to bring people together throughout his career. He is the right leader to carry American forward into its next period of growth.


“Over the span of his 35-year career, Doug has been an architect and advocate for a more vibrant, resilient and secure aviation industry. At American, Doug has overseen unprecedented investment in our team and our product and set the standard for servant leadership, tirelessly championing our people and establishing an accessible and inclusive culture. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Doug’s sound judgement, deep industry knowledge, persistence and optimism as chairman of our board.”



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