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January 29, 2013

WSJ reports AMR CEO Horton could be chairman of new airline, while US Airways CEO Parker runs it

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that AMR chief executive Tom Horton is in talks to become chairman of the new carrier if American Airlines and US Airways merge.

"The negotiations are fluid and might not result in Mr. Horton's assuming that role, which he currently holds at AMR, the people cautioned. He could become a vice chairman, senior adviser or take on another role, some of the people said," the article said.

AMR's board is meeting this week, possibly as early as Tuesday, to discuss the potential merger. One of the issues they are likely to debate is who should run the carrier if it merges. Most industry analysts have suggested that US Airways chief executive Doug Parker would likely run the combined airline.

It is not uncommon in mergers to have one CEO become chairman while the other runs the company. For example, when United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged in 2010, United chief executive Glenn Tilton became chairman of the merged carrier while Continental chief executive Jeff Smisek kept the CEO and president title. Tilton stepped down as chairman at the end of 2012.

-Andrea Ahles


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chairman.he should be the janitor under doug parker along with the rest of the amr board.taking our retirement medical away while their families get the best of health.i hope you croke Horton.


As hard as it may be for many AA employees to admit, Tom Horton has done a pretty good job straightening out AA's financials and streamlining the business while in bankruptcy. And doing so very quickly, I might add.

In return, employees did not have their pensions dumped, but rather frozen and the contracts they received were not draconian and actually fairly generous for a company in bankruptcy. I'm sure some US folks will back me up on this as they are chomping at the bit to be bumped to AA rates.

It's funny how there's no love lost between Doug Parker and US labor, but AA folks find him super terrific since he bought them off. I'm sure that the tune will change if he ends up running a merged AA as it seems like no matter who is in charge, the us vs. them mantra lives on.


It seems logical that if you merge AND have to keep Doug Parker, that you have a representative from each airline to help the transition. That way Parker can't screw the workers like he did in his last merger.

John LaDouceur

Doug Parker, while not a magician, has certainly created the proverbial "silk purse" at US Airways. His frank interchanges with employees, going so far as to hold monthly town meetings among pilots and flight attendants, shows courage and openness unheard of at AA. Horton's reluctance to go away is testimony to a bloated ego and little else. He should recognize that it is time to make a graceful exit. How many millions does he need to retire?

casual observer

Just wait until contracts become amendable. If Parker thinks his labor groups are hard to deal with, he ain't seen nothing yet! A three-way baragining collision course with East vs. West vs. AA will make us long for the "blood money" days or yesteryear!

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