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American Airlines Further Strengthens Customer Focus With Organizational Changes

 
 

Global Customer Facing Operations Integrated into Customer Organization

Global Sales and Marketing Functions Consolidated Within Commercial Organization

With Retirement of Two Senior Officers, Leadership Team Further Streamlined - Chairman and CEO Tom Horton Thanks Peter Dolara and Tom Del Valle for their Longtime Contributions to the Company

Through Restructuring, Leadership Team Reduced from 14 to 10 Members

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of AMR Corporation, today announced the retirement of two Leadership Team members, as well as additional changes to its global leadership team that will streamline its management organization and advance its restructuring objectives. The organizational changes are designed to further enhance American's focus on customers by fully integrating all of its customer-facing activities into the Customer organization, and by consolidating its global Sales and Marketing functions within the Commercial organization.

  • Peter J. Dolara, Senior Vice President – Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America (MCLA), will retire June 30.
  • Thomas R. Del Valle, Senior Vice President – Airport Services and Cargo, will retire by June 30.
  • Craig S. Kreeger, Senior Vice President – Customer, will add Airport Services and operations for MCLA and Europe and Pacific to his current management duties.
  • Virasb Vahidi, Chief Commercial Officer, will assume additional responsibility for all international Sales and Marketing by adding Pacific, Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America to his oversight of Europe.
  • Art Torno, currently Vice President – New York, has been named Vice President – MCLA, assuming Dolara's airport and operations duties and reporting to Kreeger.

AMR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton said, "On behalf of the company and all of its stakeholders, I want to thank Peter and Tom for their immeasurable contributions to American Airlines, and for agreeing to stay on through mid-year to help us through a critical phase of our restructuring. Their dedication and commitment to employees, customers and the communities we serve represent all that is special about American.

"As we review every area of our business to restore American to profitability, growth, and industry leadership, key to our mission is an intense focus on our customers. By combining all our customer contact teams into one organization, and consolidating our global sales and marketing activities, we will be even better positioned to continue delivering steady improvements in our customers' experience. These organizational changes represent a significant step forward toward realizing the goals of our business plan," Horton added.

Dolara has provided more than four decades of service to American and its stakeholders, joining the company in 1971. Based in Miami, one of American's five key domestic markets and the gateway to Latin America, he led the development of American's industry-leading presence throughout the MCLA region.

Dolara has held numerous sales positions and was Sales Manager for American's Eastern Division, based in New York City and became Vice President – Atlantic/Caribbean and New York City Sales in March 1984. He became Senior Vice President in October 1989 and moved to Greater Miami in 1992.

"When you think of airline industry icons, you think of Peter Dolara. I remember looking up to him when I joined American, and my admiration has only grown over the years," Horton said. "Peter has always put customers first, and we are fortunate that he also had the foresight to groom and develop many leaders, such as Art Torno, who will take over operational responsibilities in MCLA and continue building our leadership there. And that's also why we can finally allow Peter to enjoy his well-deserved retirement."

Torno returns to the organization where he has spent the majority of his American Airlines career. Previous to his tenure in New York, Torno had responsibility for American's Caribbean operations, which included San Juan along with 24 island destinations. He also ran American's South American operations from Santiago, Chile, and served in roles overseeing American's hubs in Miami and San Juan.

Del Valle has served as Senior Vice President – Airport Services and Cargo since September 2007. He was previously American's Vice President of Customer Services beginning in August 1999. In 1989, he joined the international division as General Manager in Brussels, Belgium. Del Valle was named President of the American Eagle's Executive Airlines operation in San Juan in 1992, and in 1997 he was appointed Managing Director – Customer Services for American Airlines in Los Angeles. Del Valle also has been a strong advocate of and participant in American's Veterans and Military initiatives that support current and former service men and women.

"Tom has served admirably in one of the most challenging jobs one could have in the airline business, keeping our airports running smoothly for our customers," Horton said. "There has been no better advocate for our airport employees or customers, and he has also given countless hours of his time to help active military, veterans and their families. He is the type of person and colleague who characterizes the spirit of American Airlines, and we wish him well in his retirement."

In his expanded role, Kreeger will add responsibility for Airport operations worldwide, encompassing North America, Europe and Pacific, and MCLA. The addition of Airport operations to Kreeger's current responsibilities combines reservations, inflight and airport operations, three of the most critical interaction points within the overall customer experience, into one organization. This integration will facilitate a more consistent experience for customers. Previously, as Senior Vice President – International, Kreeger oversaw all of American's sales and ground operations activities in Europe and Asia, becoming Senior Vice President – Customer Experience in 2010.

"Craig has a wealth of experience in the airline business and a unique ability to manage complex operations and service delivery channels that span the globe and encompass a broad range of customer touch points," Horton said. "One of the important objectives of our management redesign is to ensure we best meet the needs of our customers and Craig is ideally suited for that vital mission."

As part of the management redesign, Vahidi will assume additional responsibility for all international sales and marketing, including Europe and Pacific, and Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America (MCLA). Vahidi assumed the role of Chief Commercial Officer in 2010, with oversight of Sales and Marketing, Network and Fleet planning, Strategic Alliances, Revenue Management, Corporate Real Estate and the AAdvantage® program.

Horton said, "Virasb has made great strides in strengthening our Sales and Marketing efforts in North America and Europe. Now, we have an important opportunity to do an even better job for our corporate and high-value customers by integrating Pacific and MCLA Sales and Marketing into his organization. Given Virasb's oversight of our Strategic Alliances activities, including our Joint Businesses in the Atlantic and Pacific markets, we believe these changes will help us be more coordinated, nimble and effective in meeting the needs of these important customers. As we expand our global focus with more international flying in the years ahead, we need an organizational structure best suited to these objectives."

With these and other changes announced since AMR launched its restructuring on Nov. 29, 2011, the company's Leadership Team, which oversees the company's strategy and operations, has been reduced from 14 to 10 members.

The Leadership Team consists of Horton, Kreeger, Vahidi, Jim Ream, Senior Vice President – Operations, Bella Goren, Senior Vice President – Chief Financial Officer, Maya Leibman, Senior Vice President – Chief Information Officer, Gary Kennedy, Senior Vice President – General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Jeff Brundage, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, Will Ris, Senior Vice President – Government Affairs, and Dan Garton, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Airlines.

Today's announcement marks the completion of the first step in the company's management redesign, which will cascade throughout American's management organization by the end of summer. During the next phase, the Leadership Team will begin the process of designing their organizations, starting with the management layer that reports directly to them.

About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,300 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol "AAMRQ" on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

AMR Corporation, and certain of its United States-based subsidiaries, including American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, on Nov. 29 filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. More information about the Chapter 11 filing is available on the Internet at http://aa.com/restructuring.

Current AMR Corp. news releases can be accessed at http://www.aa.com

SOURCE American Airlines

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