MGB80
Topic Author
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Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:17 am

Who in your opinion ,either current or past, is the best commercial airline CEO?
Who is the worst?
 
BDKLEZ
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:57 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:21 am

Joint best
- Willy Walsh, turned EI around from huge losses to huge profits!  thumbsup 
- Michael O'Leary, turned FR into one of the most profitable airlines in the world!  thumbsup 
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:21 am

Best by Test

Gordon Bethune . . .



[Edited 2005-08-13 23:22:12]
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
FlagshipAZ
Posts: 3192
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 12:40 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:24 am

The worst, without a doubt, was Frank Lorenzo. He destroyed Eastern & a few others by merging them into Continental. EA didn't merge, but died nevertheless. The best were CR Smith & Robert Crandall of American. Gordon Bethune of Continental has proven to be a great CEO as well, even tho he retired way too soon. All IMHO. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
Leskova
Posts: 5547
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Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:27 am

The best, while I don't really like the airline, can only be one person - the man who turned around an essentially bankrupt airline and made it into one of the most important, well managed and respected airlines...

Jürgen Weber
CEO of Lufthansa from 1991 to 2003
Smile - it confuses people!
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:30 am

Worst - Frank Lorenzo: he ruined every airline that he was assoicated with.

Best - Gordon: CO was an absolute mess when he took over and turned it around. While Gordon is controversial, he is atleast an "airline guy" in that he knows and like airplanes, many airlines these days are run by accountants and finance men and women who have no real connection with aviation.
 
legacy135
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 11:06 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:33 am

Brugisser only used three or four year to destroy Swissair. The end of Swissair was also the beginning of a "black period" in Swiss aviation that still goes on. When he took over, Swissair had some 5'000'000'000 .-- CHF cash and only a little while after .......

P.S. 1 US$ = 1.25 CHF
 
BDKLEZ
Posts: 1687
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:57 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:34 am

Worst
- James Hogan. Seems to be doing well now he's with GF but when he was with BD no-one trusted him and he's almost personally responsible for setting the company on a path which has led directly to the situation that the company now finds itself in.  thumbsdown 
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
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Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:34 am

Where's Juan Trippe rating these days???  Silly
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8549
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:41 am

Herb Kellher... did more than taking a poor airline to a good airline, took three aircraft, fought off hostile market forces, and made the single largest domestic airline in the U.S. His model of opperation has also been copied far and wide around the world, more so than any other airline buisness model.
 
CORULEZ05
Posts: 1250
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:39 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:52 am

The best airline CEO is: David Neeleman-started out with Morris Air proving what we know now...highest quality airline service combined with new and improved technology and of course low fares will make an airline successful. Then went on to help launch perhaps Canada's most popular LCC which is, yes you guess it, WestJet. And of course the biggest of his accomplishments being jetBlue. Began the airline with a huge capital and in only five years they have grown tremendously and are hugely successful and continue to expand as we speak. The list of his accomplishments goes on and on...truly remarkable.

Best CEO + great, thoughtout business plan + accurate and best "airline formula"= the successful jetBlue!  bigthumbsup 
Fly jetBlue today!!!!!!!
 
positiverate
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:35 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:59 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 8):
Where's Juan Trippe rating these days???

An ever better topic of discussion would be to speculate on how guys like Trippe would have done in a deregulated industry. Lest we forget, a lot of his success was because of his ability to work Congress and the regulated CAB of the time...
 
HPA320
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:33 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:46 am

Well, if the HP/US Merger works out, then...

Doug Parker is.

America West Airlines. 1983-2005. The Journey Continues...
 
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PipoA380
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 1:36 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:54 am

Worst: Brugisser, ex SR
One of the best: Fernando Pinto, of TP, which transformed a financial disaster to a profitable airline!
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
N867BX
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:19 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:15 am

Best: Donald Nyrop.........................................................................
 
N766UA
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 1999 3:50 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:49 am

Best: tie- Kelleher and Bethune

Worst: tie- Lorenzo and Wolfe

[Edited 2005-08-14 04:49:46]
This Website Censors Me
 
henpol747
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 5:53 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:19 pm

Best: Gordon Bethune

Worst: Frank Lorenzo
Vive la France! ¡Viva México!
 
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yowza
Posts: 4275
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Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:26 pm

No mention of Milton at AC... interesting

YOWza
 
andz
Posts: 7624
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:34 pm

My vote for worst goes to Coleman Andrews for what he did to SAA, although the current CEO Khaya Ngqula is doing his damnedest to surpass him...
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Euclid
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:42 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:36 pm

Andz beat me to this, but he said exactly what I was going to say.

Regards
 
NZ767
Posts: 1553
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 9:17 am

Best and Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:47 pm

My favourites:

Herb Kelleher, David Neeleman and Ralph Norris (Air NZ).
Their common philosophy of putting their staff first is a key to the success of their respective airlines. They've proven that it works, it's not rocket science and it's a pity a lot of other companies don't follow suit.  Smile
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6807
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:43 pm

Don'y know about the worst but the best CEO is by far Ralph Norris IMHO. He virtually turned NZ around into a profitable carrier from its gloomy days in 2001/2002.
 
wrighbrothers
Posts: 1807
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:15 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:46 pm

Quoting BDKLEZ (Reply 1):
Willy Walsh, turned EI around from huge losses to huge profits!

Rod Edington did the same for BA , so he would be my choice as best CEO

Happy Flying !!  wave 
Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
 
flyerboyek
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:13 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:16 am

Best...

Gordon Bethune

Worst...

Frank Lorenzo

And my opinon on Glenn at UA you my ask? He has good intentions, but he needs to win over his employees before he does anything else.

[Edited 2005-08-14 17:18:27]
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:42 am

Well not exactly CEO, but I'd say Carl Icahn ranks amongst some of the worst.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 22):
Rod Edington did the same for BA , so he would be my choice as best CEO

Lord King must take some credit, no?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5027
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:20 am

BEST:
Continentals current CEO

WORST:

BY FAR IS DOUG STEENLAND, DOESNT HAVE A CLUE!!!
 
Cruiser
Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:08 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:10 am

Quoting YOWza (Reply 17):
No mention of Milton at AC... interesting

YOWza

After reading his book, I would put him in the best category. AC would certainly be worst off if he was not at the healm.

James
Leahy on Per Seat Costs: "Have you seen the B-2 fly-by at almost US$1bn a copy? It has only 2 seats!"
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:19 am

Best: Ryanair's Michael O'Leary. He is running a very succesful airline and he has a great humor, I really like this guy.

Worst: Lufthansa's Wolfang Hubermeyer (or whatever that dude's name is). O'Leary recommended him that he should consult a doctor to have his head checked.  rotfl 

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
flyerboyek
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:13 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:35 am

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 25):
BEST:
Continentals current CEO

Larry Kellner?
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:53 pm

Best CEO: Lord King  tombstone 
Gerald Grinstein Big grin
Antonio Mata  spin 

Worst: Glenn Tilton...



Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
flyerboyek
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:13 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:52 pm

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 29):
Worst: Glenn Tilton...

While I am partial to United, and they are my favorite airline, I can see where you are coming from.

Like I said before, Glenn does have good intentions, but his execution is nothign short of mediocre. This is his first time working in the airline industry...he was an oil executive before coming to work for United in 2002. (You would think that maybe he would have some connections to get cheap gas for UA  Wink).

What else happened in 2002? United files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I miss the days of Goodwin....
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:17 am

Quoting FlyerBoyEK (Reply 30):
While I am partial to United, and they are my favorite airline, I can see where you are coming from.

I love UA, and I don't want her to go under. That's why I don't like him, and being the best paid CEO in the Airline Industry in the US makes me like him even less. He should follow GG's example and cut back his paycheck at least 50%.

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD-11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:58 am

How would Sir Freddie Laker be rated? Although Laker UK did go bust, and some critics say it was because of Sir Freddie's over-ambitious expansion plans, there are many crowning achievements in his career, notably
  • Was a prominent figure in establishing BUA as the UK's main independent airline at that time
  • Redesigned the DC4 so that it could carry cars and large cargo
  • Was influential in the specifications for the design of the BAC 1-11 that went on to become the UK's largest-selling passenger jet
  • Took on IATA over their fare structures and protection of their members
  • Fought against the likes of PanAm, TWA, BA etc
  • Single handedly fought the UK/US authorities to win the right to operate a low-cost 'Skytrain' service across the Atlantic, and this was well before the likes of Herb Kelleher, David Neeleman, Stelios and Loonie O'Leary were around
  • Revoluntionised the concept of time charters

Although Laker (Skytrain) did go bust, PanAm, BA and others did settle out of court and the indications are that there was a conspiracy by them and others to drive poor old Sir Freddie out of business.

IMO Sir Freddie does deserve a place amongst the best commercial airline CEOs. After all, he paved the way for the LCCs.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
GHOSTRIDER
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 5:29 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:19 am

I must say, although Lorenzo was a pretty bad guy, if it wasn't for him Continental would not be the size it is today, nor would it be based in Houston....but that's me being selfish  wink 
 
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:42 am

RE: Best And Worst Commercial Airline CEO?

Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:52 am

Carl Ichan should have an honorable mention for the worst.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.

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