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Could Richard Anderson Be Delta's New CEO?  
User currently offlineMptpa From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 546 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7447 times:

I am not sure if this is already buried in a thread here, so here it goes. There was an article on WSJ today regarding the next CEo at Delta and why it has taken longer than the expected by the end of June selection.

One of the Directors of Delta is Ex-NWA CEO Anderson. But he did not interview the other two CEO candidates, and Delta looks like it is looking "outside" for the next CEO as it is taking longer (now by end of Summer). So it IS possible Anderson could become the next CEO as Grinstein has indicated how good he is in the past.

Anyone has any insight to this story.

Here is the link on WSJ (It might require you to be a subscriber)

Excerpt:
When Delta emerged from bankruptcy protection in April, Mr. Grinstein said he would retire as soon as a successor was chosen. He said then that Delta's new board could select a successor by the end of June. In a conference call last week, Mr. Grinstein said it may now take until the end of summer. Four of Delta's 11 directors served on the board before the company's reorganization.

During meetings in Atlanta on July 11 and 12, the board interviewed both internal candidates: Ed Bastian, 50 years old, Delta's chief financial officer, and Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst, 39. Senior executives, according to people familiar with the proceedings, were left "scratching our heads" about the board's intentions. Directors established no timetable for their decision and aren't scheduled to meet again until late August.

Richard Anderson, 52, former chief executive of Northwest Airlines Corp. and the sole outside director with previous day-to-day experience as an airline manager, didn't participate in the interviews, according to people familiar with the board process. He is an executive vice president at UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Delta and Northwest, both of which filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2005 and emerged from those proceedings in the spring, have often been considered logical merger partners, should the U.S. airline industry begin consolidating.

Mr. Grinstein in the past has told acquaintances of his and Mr. Anderson's that he thinks highly of the former Northwest leader as an executive. But, in recent months, Mr. Grinstein has explicitly expressed his preference that one of the internal candidates get his job.

Mr. Grinstein declined to comment on Mr. Anderson yesterday. Mr. Grinstein has advised the executive-search firm that recruited Mr. Anderson and the company's other new directors, but hasn't actively pursued any external candidate to succeed him at Delta's helm, according to people familiar with the search process. "Our best decision is internal," he said in an earnings conference call last week.

Mr. Anderson declined to comment. People familiar with his thinking said he isn't seeking the Delta chief-executive job and doesn't consider himself a candidate. A spokesman for Spencer Stuart, Delta's search firm, also declined to comment.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8775 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7421 times:

As an EVP at UnitedHealth, Inc, Mr. Anderson is probably far too wealthy to want to work for a company like Delta. UnitedHealth prints money every day of the year, including Sundays.

User currently offlineSESGDL From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3489 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7263 times:

That would be the biggest step backward that Delta has ever made. If Anderson becomes the new CEO of Delta, it would have been better for them to be taken over by US Airways. As an avid DL flier and fan, I would absolutely HATE to see this happen. I'm pretty sure that either Whitehurst or Bastion should become CEO as they did a great in Chapter 11. We shall see.

Jeremy


User currently offlineDrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 688 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7173 times:

I had heard murmurings about Robert Milton possibly being a candidate. Guess nothing there?

User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Had an interesting conversation today with a VP at DL. I asked what the holdup was in naming a successor, presuming that the conventional wisdom of choosing between Bastian and Whitehurst still existed. He said that it was his opinion, and that the feeling at DL was now trending towards, that the board was going to go outside the company to find the next CEO. The name he threw out, not suprisingly, was Richard Anderson.

User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 22 hours ago) and read 6835 times:

GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!! GORDON!!!

I know it will never happen, but if it did.....


User currently offlineRedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 757 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 6812 times:

Quoting BR715-A1-30 (Reply 5):
GORDON!!!

I wish he would replace some idiot named Doug Steenland over at Northwest.



Mason



Northwest Airlines. Now your flying smart!
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 6763 times:

My money is on the bean counter. That seems to be the wave of business today....beancounters(CFO) as CEO's.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 6745 times:

Quoting SESGDL (Reply 2):
That would be the biggest step backward that Delta has ever made.

While I don't know if it's the biggest step backward, I do agree that it would be a step backward. I can't quite figure out why DL would be that interested in Anderson. From all I know of him, he just doesn't bring much to the table for DL.


User currently offlinePositiverate From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1590 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 6694 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 8):
I can't quite figure out why DL would be that interested in Anderson.

It's not DL so much as the board. Maybe Bastion and Whitehurst didn't hit it out of the park in their interviews?


User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6538 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 6644 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 8):
While I don't know if it's the biggest step backward, I do agree that it would be a step backward. I can't quite figure out why DL would be that interested in Anderson. From all I know of him, he just doesn't bring much to the table for DL.

What do you know specifically about Richard Anderson to make that statement?


User currently offlineLawnDart From United States of America, joined May 2005, 975 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 6597 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 8):
From all I know of him, he just doesn't bring much to the table for DL.



Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 10):
What do you know specifically about Richard Anderson to make that statement?

Bobnwa, do you know anything specifically about Richard Anderson? I ask this honestly - your username would suggest some knowledge of NW, and maybe of Anderson. If so, what do you think of him?


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6562 times:

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 10):
What do you know specifically about Richard Anderson to make that statement?

Take a look at his time at NW. He was ineffective in restructuring NW (he got some cuts, but not nearly enough). His compensation package was exhorbitant considering that NW was losing money and he was asking employees to take cuts. He did little to improve labor relations (which granted were poor even before he was CEO) and customer service certainly didn't fair well either. There's no doubt that he was CEO during a tough time, but that's often the time to best judge someone and quite frankly there was nothing special about his performance.

I don't think Anderson is a terrible person and he might make a great CEO of some other company. However, I just don't see that he brings anything to the table that DL doesn't already have in candidates like Whitehurst and Bastian.


User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6538 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6537 times:

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 11):
Bobnwa, do you know anything specifically about Richard Anderson? I ask this honestly - your username would suggest some knowledge of NW, and maybe of Anderson. If so, what do you think of him?

During this tenure at Northwest, Anderson was quite well thought of, by just about all employee groups.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 12):
His compensation package was exhorbitant considering that NW was losing money and he was asking employees to take cuts.

His pay package at Northwest was so low compared to other airline CEO's,that it was the major reason for his leaving Northwest to go to United Healthcare at a significant raise in pay as a VP.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8775 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (7 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6524 times:

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 13):
His pay package at Northwest was so low compared to other airline CEO's,that it was the major reason for his leaving Northwest to go to United Healthcare at a significant raise in pay as a VP.

Just to support this, the UnitedHealth Care CEO used to make $100m+ every year for over a decade. The money in health care is so far beyond airline money that if Anderson came back, it would be because he misses airline work, not the money.

Anderson did some good things about NWA's "Heartland Strategy" that are still paying off today. I remember reading the CEO note in their magazine where he talked about it.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (7 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6505 times:

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 13):
His pay package at Northwest was so low compared to other airline CEO's,that it was the major reason for his leaving Northwest to go to United Healthcare at a significant raise in pay as a VP.

All the more reason he shouldn't be CEO of Delta. If having a massive pay package is that important to him, then he should probably stay away from airlines altogether.


User currently offlineFlyingcat From United States of America, joined May 2007, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6474 times:

Whitehurst is too young. That is probably one of the biggest hurdles he faces.

Frankly I think that is an asset but many of the people on the board might see him as someone who may one day become CEO, just not today.


User currently offlineJkj777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 6323 times:

Well, I volunteer to take over the job if Branson does not want it...

User currently offlineOkie73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6261 times:

Quoting Flyingcat (Reply 16):
Whitehurst is too young. That is probably one of the biggest hurdles he faces.

Frankly I think that is an asset but many of the people on the board might see him as someone who may one day become CEO, just not today

I agree, Whitehurst's age is a strike against him. But, he inspired the people at Delta. Bastion has to have a handler with him to keep his temper in check everytime he speaks with a group of Delta employees.

Mr. Bastion is a smart man and a great CFO. But Mr. Whitehurst is a great leader who brings hope for the future to the Delta people. I know who I'd rather work for.


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6211 times:

I'm really hoping Anderson doesn't become CEO - NW has been plagued by an inferior coach product and mismanagement. Many employees are disgruntled. Grinstein has started a great change campaign, and I hope that Whitehurst succeeds him. I think Whitehurst will continue improving Delta's product and using that to improve RASM.
-A



What now?
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6156 times:

Quoting Mptpa (Thread starter):
how good he is in the past

Well, how good was he? The airline he helmed had shitty labor relationships and ended up in bankruptcy protection. Not much for resume-building.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 8):
he just doesn't bring much to the table for DL

...nor did he at NW, liked or not liked.


User currently offlineMoMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1054 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Quoting Okie73 (Reply 18):
I agree, Whitehurst's age is a strike against him. But, he inspired the people at Delta. Bastion has to have a handler with him to keep his temper in check everytime he speaks with a group of Delta employees.

Mr. Bastion is a smart man and a great CFO. But Mr. Whitehurst is a great leader who brings hope for the future to the Delta people. I know who I'd rather work for.

He's not too young. Arpey was 42 when he took over AA. Whitehurst has a good reputation and a large company like Delta could use a fresh face. Ultimately, I expect he will get the job.



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