New Delta CEO takes controls of airline

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Although Ed Bastian has years of tenure at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, he’s taking a fresh look at the company as he officially takes on the position of CEO today.

“Anytime you see a leadership change at the top of the company, it provides the opportunity for, “What about this? And are we thinking that?”

Bastian succeeds Richard Anderson, who took the airline from financial recovery mode to become one of the industry’s most profitable carriers by the end of his nine-year run with an aggressive approach and unconventional moves.

Bastian said he talks with Anderson two or three times a week, but also noted that he has a different style. “Richard was a lawyer, I wasn’t — I come more from the financial side of the business. I’m more analytical.”

Delta passengers will be introduced to Bastian via the in-flight videos that welcome them on board. Gradually through the month of May, the company will replace the message from Anderson with a video of the new CEO.

Richard and Ed

Richard Anderson, left, and Ed Bastian, during the Delta-Northwest merger announcement.

To learn about Bastian and the direction he plans for Delta, check out these stories from the AJC:

New Delta CEO’s goal: keep company “fresh”

“I am a different person than Richard. I’ve got a different style and a different voice.”

Next Delta CEO aims for upward trajectory

“Nine years is a long time in this job, especially given that he was CEO of Northwest before that,” Bastian said of Anderson’s retirement. “It’s a tough job, there are a lot of demands on the job, and hats off to him to have the endurance to go through it for that extended period of time.”

Pay for Delta CEO Anderson totals $15.8 million

Incoming CEO Ed Bastian, who steps into the top role Monday, had $9 million in total compensation in 2015

Delta’s rising CEO inherits big profits, big issues

“We’ve got more chapters in this story to write…. You’re going to see the product continue to improve.”

Delta CEO departing, successor named

“The people leading the airline continue to lead the airline, and that’s very important for continuity,” said Henry Harteveldt, of Atmosphere Research Group. “It’s important to the employees, and I think it provides reassurance to customers.”

Ed Bastian: ‘You’ve got to be fearless’

“In my second year auditing a big ad agency, I tripped upon a set of analyses I couldn’t quite understand…. I wound up stumbling into a massive fraud — tens of millions of dollars in 1980.”

MORE:
Delta CEO Richard Anderson moving to Texas as he retires

Bastian called Anderson “a strong mentor… I’m going to continue to seek his counsel.”


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