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aaden
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AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:33 pm

Hello all,

I wanted to get some opinions on anet about what the perception of Doug Parker at american airlines is from the BOD and shareholders.

Things have not gone well recently for the organization, but recently the Board backed the CEO.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/20 ... t-the-top/


I just wonder if the opinion is the issues facing AA are outside of Doug's control or they think hes doing a good job.

Stock prices of AA are way down. I'm just curious as to whether he is actually under fire or not.

I like AA and am not looking to start a Airline or CEo bashing thread. I'm just wondering why the company would allow things to slide so far.
 
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Revelation
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:43 pm

I think you do have the BoD view, they just backed him. The board is supposed to represent the shareholders but quite often the nomination of shareholders is strongly influenced by the corporation's executives. This is why we speak of friendly boards. Then in turn we speak of outside board members, activist board members, etc which get nominated by larger share holders or groups of share holders unhappy with the company's performance. Seems AA's board largely falls in to the friendly category.
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UWPAviation
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:12 pm

Last I saw, could be wrong now, AA had the largest profit out of any airline in the world.
 
airtran737
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:18 pm

UWPAviation wrote:
Last I saw, could be wrong now, AA had the largest profit out of any airline in the world.


I’m not sure when you saw that but AA lags far behind UA and DL in the United States. In fact last quarter AA didn’t make money flying people, rather it was cargo and other revenue from credit cards which kept them profitable. AA has been left far behind their competition. They have crammed more seats into planes when their competition takes them out. They have taken away seat back screens when their competition continues to add them to the fleet. They have been left behind when it comes to profit sharing with their employees when DL for example gives 10x as much. They have terrible relations with their workgroups. Last summer was a nightmare with the MAX debacle and the ongoing contract discussions with the mechanics. This summer will have exactly the same with the added bonus of the pilots being in Section 6 negotiations, and so far the company has been terrible with negotiations.

AA is a dumpster fire and Doug Parker is responsible. He should have been fired a long time ago.
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Alias1024
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:19 pm

The BoD is not going to publicly undercut the CEO. They will say they fully support Parker right up until the press release is issued announcing his retirement. If there’s division amongst the board it is usually kept quiet.

As Revelation said above, you usually won’t see board members publicly denounce a CEO unless they’re appointed by an activist shareholder group.
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CriticalPoint
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:16 pm

UWPAviation wrote:
Last I saw, could be wrong now, AA had the largest profit out of any airline in the world.


This is wildly incorrect....AA is in 3rd place in the US let alone the world and could slip to fourth is they don’t turn it around, Southwest isn’t far behind
 
MIflyer12
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:48 pm

Alias1024 wrote:
The BoD is not going to publicly undercut the CEO. They will say they fully support Parker right up until the press release is issued announcing his retirement. If there’s division amongst the board it is usually kept quiet.

As Revelation said above, you usually won’t see board members publicly denounce a CEO unless they’re appointed by an activist shareholder group.


That's how it works with large, publicly-traded U.S. companies. If a Board member has gone public with a criticism of the current CEO, the BOD is already looking for a replacement CEO.
 
airzona11
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:57 pm

CriticalPoint wrote:
UWPAviation wrote:
Last I saw, could be wrong now, AA had the largest profit out of any airline in the world.


This is wildly incorrect....AA is in 3rd place in the US let alone the world and could slip to fourth is they don’t turn it around, Southwest isn’t far behind


Curious any more profitable airline outside of the US3?
 
LCDFlight
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:50 pm

Parker served his purpose and it would have been logical to put Kirby in charge 3 years ago. Kirby either quit or was fired. I’m not clear AA had a backup plan, so they are (again!) a huge airline zombie in search of a plan. But I don’t know the details of what they could do. Is it possible the CFO regime is a major culprit? It seems like many say their long term capital structure is ill advised. If so, what should be done differently?

I was in the loop during the AA US merger and saw Doug clearly demonstrate his wit and guile during all that. He accomplished a lot. But his endgame just wasn’t as good as DL. He didn’t have that finesse. Recall DL and NW actually copied his merger blueprint to get to where DL is now. Doug is a legend for restructuring the entire US industry. Not only at AA.
 
Swadian
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:54 pm

It's hard to blame a large company's woes on 1 person. There's no evidence to suggest that installing more seats was a bad idea, when DL/UA have done the same and when much of the project was put on hold due to the MAX debacle. There's also no evidence to suggest that not installing PTVs on new planes was a bad idea, when UA/WN have done the same and the existing A321s with PTVs still have all of them.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:32 pm

airzona11 wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:
UWPAviation wrote:
Last I saw, could be wrong now, AA had the largest profit out of any airline in the world.


This is wildly incorrect....AA is in 3rd place in the US let alone the world and could slip to fourth is they don’t turn it around, Southwest isn’t far behind


Curious any more profitable airline outside of the US3?

Margin, or net income $?
 
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DL747400
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:49 pm

Swadian wrote:
It's hard to blame a large company's woes on 1 person.


No, It isn't. Not when that one person is Chairman and CEO of the company. Everything starts with him and filters down. Parker is ultimately responsible for everything that happens at the airline, whether he initiated it or not, which is exactly as it should be.

Swadian wrote:
There's no evidence to suggest that installing more seats was a bad idea, when DL/UA have done the same and when much of the project was put on hold due to the MAX debacle.


AA's Project Oasis was implemented inappropriately and created a strong public backlash from their customers as a result. Like it or not, this didn't happen without Parker signing off on it, so this is ultimately his responsibility. As you mentioned, other airlines including DL and UA have also selectively added seats to portions of their fleet, yet there is no massive firestorm of controversy from angry frequent flyers. The difference is how the changes impacted the customer experience.

Swadian wrote:
There's also no evidence to suggest that not installing PTVs on new planes was a bad idea, when UA/WN have done the same and the existing A321s with PTVs still have all of them.


You might want to ask their customers. NPS is a good place to start. Additional evidence can be found by comparing the revenue gap between AA and carriers such as DL who do offer seatback IFE. That is just one element of a comprehensive portfolio of strategic benefits which DL uses to drive revenue premiums versus the rest of the industry, increase market share and profit margins. It also helps them continue to win corporate contracts in key markets.
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SteelChair
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:58 am

Leadership matters.

Is there a single metric that AA can rightfully claim to lead or own? Why stop at NPS? How about DOT complaints? Missed bag scores? Involuntary denied boardings? On time statistics? They not only don't lead, they are last or nearly last in almost every one. Their performance is pitiable.

AA BOD is a classic case of crony capitalism. How else to explain the continuing malaise, quarter after quarter, year after year? The leadership of Russia has more integrity than AA.
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:06 am

I think the problem is Doug built his empire and that was fundamentally what he was motivated to do, ie America west merged into USAir, then merging into American. The problem is that now that he has built it he doesn't have another mission to create motivation, while at the same time he is unwilling to hand it off to someone else, and honestly, Kirby should have taken over American three years ago, because being at the top is exhausting and people need to see movement to stick around. Look at delta, Richard Anderson retired not because he honestly couldn't have kept at it look at what he is trying to do with Amtrack, but because if he didn't leave then either glen or ed would not have gotten some time at the top. whereas now both will get to be CEO of delta for a few years at least, and mentor the next generation.
 
airzona11
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:23 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:

This is wildly incorrect....AA is in 3rd place in the US let alone the world and could slip to fourth is they don’t turn it around, Southwest isn’t far behind


Curious any more profitable airline outside of the US3?

Margin, or net income $?


$s is tough because of the massive scale of the US3 vs others, margin comparisons would be interesting.
 
airzona11
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:26 am

An interesting question is, does it really matter? The major US airlines have near monopolies over the captive O/D population, especially for business travelers who are going to choose the non-stops. I guess in LAX you could do a 3 way comparison, in Chicago you could do UA AA WN. But how many markets are they really competing for nonstop passengers, especially the high dollar value ones?
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:49 am

airzona11 wrote:
An interesting question is, does it really matter? The major US airlines have near monopolies over the captive O/D population, especially for business travelers who are going to choose the non-stops. I guess in LAX you could do a 3 way comparison, in Chicago you could do UA AA WN. But how many markets are they really competing for nonstop passengers, especially the high dollar value ones?

Here's the thing a huge percent of the country is going to be on stopping basically no matter what and a decent percent of the country is going to have multiple non stop options the fortress hub demographics are not a majority of the country by far.
 
Swadian
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:07 am

DL747400 wrote:
Swadian wrote:
It's hard to blame a large company's woes on 1 person.


No, It isn't. Not when that one person is Chairman and CEO of the company. Everything starts with him and filters down. Parker is ultimately responsible for everything that happens at the airline, whether he initiated it or not, which is exactly as it should be.

Swadian wrote:
There's no evidence to suggest that installing more seats was a bad idea, when DL/UA have done the same and when much of the project was put on hold due to the MAX debacle.


AA's Project Oasis was implemented inappropriately and created a strong public backlash from their customers as a result. Like it or not, this didn't happen without Parker signing off on it, so this is ultimately his responsibility. As you mentioned, other airlines including DL and UA have also selectively added seats to portions of their fleet, yet there is no massive firestorm of controversy from angry frequent flyers. The difference is how the changes impacted the customer experience.

Swadian wrote:
There's also no evidence to suggest that not installing PTVs on new planes was a bad idea, when UA/WN have done the same and the existing A321s with PTVs still have all of them.


You might want to ask their customers. NPS is a good place to start. Additional evidence can be found by comparing the revenue gap between AA and carriers such as DL who do offer seatback IFE. That is just one element of a comprehensive portfolio of strategic benefits which DL uses to drive revenue premiums versus the rest of the industry, increase market share and profit margins. It also helps them continue to win corporate contracts in key markets.


So UA does the same thing, everyone bashes DP. No one in the US3 is "taking seats out" to increase legroom. DL does well but so does WN, and WN never had PTVs. You can blame DP for taking out PTVs, but you can't say it was the wrong business decision.

AA problems can be traced back to high debt, labor contract issues, and the 737 MAX grounding.
 
HPAEAA
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:35 am

Swadian wrote:
DL747400 wrote:
Swadian wrote:
It's hard to blame a large company's woes on 1 person.


No, It isn't. Not when that one person is Chairman and CEO of the company. Everything starts with him and filters down. Parker is ultimately responsible for everything that happens at the airline, whether he initiated it or not, which is exactly as it should be.

Swadian wrote:
There's no evidence to suggest that installing more seats was a bad idea, when DL/UA have done the same and when much of the project was put on hold due to the MAX debacle.


AA's Project Oasis was implemented inappropriately and created a strong public backlash from their customers as a result. Like it or not, this didn't happen without Parker signing off on it, so this is ultimately his responsibility. As you mentioned, other airlines including DL and UA have also selectively added seats to portions of their fleet, yet there is no massive firestorm of controversy from angry frequent flyers. The difference is how the changes impacted the customer experience.

Swadian wrote:
There's also no evidence to suggest that not installing PTVs on new planes was a bad idea, when UA/WN have done the same and the existing A321s with PTVs still have all of them.


You might want to ask their customers. NPS is a good place to start. Additional evidence can be found by comparing the revenue gap between AA and carriers such as DL who do offer seatback IFE. That is just one element of a comprehensive portfolio of strategic benefits which DL uses to drive revenue premiums versus the rest of the industry, increase market share and profit margins. It also helps them continue to win corporate contracts in key markets.


So UA does the same thing, everyone bashes DP. No one in the US3 is "taking seats out" to increase legroom. DL does well but so does WN, and WN never had PTVs. You can blame DP for taking out PTVs, but you can't say it was the wrong business decision.

AA problems can be traced back to high debt, labor contract issues, and the 737 MAX grounding.

It’s next to impossible to argue the counter factual but rasm and changes in rasm are a pretty good proxy in this case... putting aside debt and even the max issues (Max theoretically helps them if they’re cutting the lowest performing routes); AAL isn’t gaining as much traction on the revenue side as their peers and that is DPs problem, they continue to decline relative to their peers in terms of how much consumers are willing to pay for asms vs other travel options.
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grbauc
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:08 am

LCDFlight wrote:
Parker served his purpose and it would have been logical to put Kirby in charge 3 years ago. Kirby either quit or was fired. I’m not clear AA had a backup plan, so they are (again!) a huge airline zombie in search of a plan. But I don’t know the details of what they could do. Is it possible the CFO regime is a major culprit? It seems like many say their long term capital structure is ill advised. If so, what should be done differently?

I was in the loop during the AA US merger and saw Doug clearly demonstrate his wit and guile during all that. He accomplished a lot. But his endgame just wasn’t as good as DL. He didn’t have that finesse. Recall DL and NW actually copied his merger blueprint to get to where DL is now. Doug is a legend for restructuring the entire US industry. Not only at AA.



Totally agree... DP has and should of left while AA was at the top the honey moon is over and a new direction is needed. New blood new idea's
 
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DL747400
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:06 pm

Swadian wrote:
You can blame DP for taking out PTVs, but you can't say it was the wrong business decision.


Many believe that it was indeed the wrong business decision. AA leadership should have focused on assembling a list of reasons why people should choose AA. Instead, this became one more reason for customers to avoid flying AA.

Swadian wrote:
AA problems can be traced back to high debt, labor contract issues, and the 737 MAX grounding.


High debt and labor contract issues are certainly big problems for them, but AA's current list of challenges has been years in the making and predate the 737 MAX grounding.

A major problem is AA's toxic culture, which starts at the top and is a direct reflection on Parker and the rest of the senior leadership team. When your corporate culture is toxic, labor relations suffer and contract negotiations stall, grinding on and on over time. Everything in the day to day running of the company becomes focused on the internal "us versus them" struggle. Employees become bitter and resentful. Customers notice and begin booking away from AA. Corporate travel managers notice and begin signing travel contracts with other carriers.

Where does this end? Where is the bottom of this downward spiral? I don't pretend to know, but with each passing day I become more and more convinced that real change will not start until Parker (and perhaps a few others?) are gone from AA. It remains a mystery to me why AA's BOD has taken no action for so long.
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All posts reflect my opinions, not those of my employer or any other company.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:23 pm

I respectful disagree. The toxic culture was here long before this management team and will not go with a new one. DP has done many things unthinkable like giving raises outside of union contracts, Free positive space flights, there were no massive layoffs after merger (even though there should have been). DP isn't a hands on top down manage he lets his people manage. He is probably one of the more pro employee and especially union employee CEOs out there.The problem is way to many mid level managers without vision, leadership or willingness to fight to make changes. Every HUB is its own castle, most run by the employees who are unwilling to change and there leaders who cannot or will not hold them accountable.
 
apodino
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:13 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
I respectful disagree. The toxic culture was here long before this management team and will not go with a new one. DP has done many things unthinkable like giving raises outside of union contracts, Free positive space flights, there were no massive layoffs after merger (even though there should have been). DP isn't a hands on top down manage he lets his people manage. He is probably one of the more pro employee and especially union employee CEOs out there.The problem is way to many mid level managers without vision, leadership or willingness to fight to make changes. Every HUB is its own castle, most run by the employees who are unwilling to change and there leaders who cannot or will not hold them accountable.


Its not quite that simple. You mention that Parker is more hands off, and while that's true, the issue is that there are some very toxic people in middle management who are looking out for themselves, so a lot of the issues that truly exist in the airline don't even reach Parker because these middle managers make damn sure to hide this stuff from him. A lot of these middle managers come from Northwest airlines, and these were people that were brought in after Delta told these people to pound sand after that merger. The common trait among these managers are, they don't listen to any suggestions from the employees about how to improve things, and if they didn't think of the idea themselves its no good. Another common trait is when these managers are shown numbers using their own methodology, they then throw those numbers out the window saying they are invalid. Again, its not entirely Parker that has created this culture, its the middle managers he has in place, and these people are micro managers, even if Parker himself isn't.

There are some issues I do throw on Parker, like the decision to bank DFW instead of keep it as a Rolling hub. The PTV and OASIS projects have been beaten to death on here. Another one is not paying close attention to fleet routings. Network Planning has decided to throw a Legacy USAirways A321 on DFW-CUN. The problem with this is because these are the A321s that do not have life rafts, they cannot fly a direct overwater route to CUN, so they have to take a significantly longer route to CUN, which causes the flight to constantly overblock and burns way more fuel. I have a lot of respect for Vasu Raja and I think overall he has done a good job, but there are some issues with the way the Narrowbody fleet is routed, and it causes operational issues that will not look good to a paying customer who has no idea how the airline actually operates. (No crews for a 737 flight in CLT, even though CLT is the second biggest hub for AA to name one). Another one is the Debt issue. It sounds to me today that AA has now refinanced its debt that came due next year rather than pay it down. That will not look good to Wall Street.

Labor is not all on Parker though. A huge part of the problem that the TWU-IAM association has is that it even exists in the first place. I pin this squarely on Richard Trumka. This association has been a big part of the problem as to why a deal cant be reached and the membership has not had any say at all in who should be representing them, nor what should be sought at the table. Furthermore, the association has not communicated well with the membership at all. Now the membership is so angry an AMFA card drive is underway. Trumka should have allowed the membership to pick who represents them, but instead in the interest of not having unions fighting, he determined that they should form an association without a vote from the membership. This has been a disaster.
 
strfyr51
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:07 am

AMR isn't pulling the revenue they should because USAir 's group is running the show and they are not up to the task. A lot of their Prime Movers are now at United and they let them go there while they kept the YES men who didn't and COULDN'T run an Outhouse if they were the only ones with the Key. They even went to one of their former Execs at United and offered him a chance to come back to American and he turned them down FLAT! There are execs who could turn American around and possible even put them on TOP but they're not going to get the call because they might see what's really going on and clean out the Locker!! You can't tell me that American Can't find excellent Manager talent. Though they more than likely Don't WANT to find Top Talent. They won't be looking either...
 
AA747123
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:55 am

Its really too bad the LAA failed and was taken over my HP. Thats essentially what happen. AA has been brought down to America West standards with profits thats match. I would not be surprised at all to see AA back in CH11 in the next few years
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:25 am

strfyr51 wrote:
AMR isn't pulling the revenue they should because USAir 's group is running the show and they are not up to the task. A lot of their Prime Movers are now at United and they let them go there while they kept the YES men who didn't and COULDN'T run an Outhouse if they were the only ones with the Key. They even went to one of their former Execs at United and offered him a chance to come back to American and he turned them down FLAT! There are execs who could turn American around and possible even put them on TOP but they're not going to get the call because they might see what's really going on and clean out the Locker!! You can't tell me that American Can't find excellent Manager talent. Though they more than likely Don't WANT to find Top Talent. They won't be looking either...

Don't worry they will replace them with the large group of ex northwest execs who got fired by Anderson for underperforming
 
apodino
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:34 am

dstblj52 wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
AMR isn't pulling the revenue they should because USAir 's group is running the show and they are not up to the task. A lot of their Prime Movers are now at United and they let them go there while they kept the YES men who didn't and COULDN'T run an Outhouse if they were the only ones with the Key. They even went to one of their former Execs at United and offered him a chance to come back to American and he turned them down FLAT! There are execs who could turn American around and possible even put them on TOP but they're not going to get the call because they might see what's really going on and clean out the Locker!! You can't tell me that American Can't find excellent Manager talent. Though they more than likely Don't WANT to find Top Talent. They won't be looking either...

Don't worry they will replace them with the large group of ex northwest execs who got fired by Anderson for underperforming

They already have. It’s one of AAs biggest problems.
 
PacificWest
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:51 am

Swadian wrote:
It's hard to blame a large company's woes on 1 person. There's no evidence to suggest that installing more seats was a bad idea, when DL/UA have done the same and when much of the project was put on hold due to the MAX debacle. There's also no evidence to suggest that not installing PTVs on new planes was a bad idea, when UA/WN have done the same and the existing A321s with PTVs still have all of them.


I mean, it's one thing to have miserable onboard product when cancellations, delays, and lost bags aren't a problem -- and you have a strong/happy employee culture.

But when you suck at everything operationally, your employees resent the company, and you then decide to jam in more seats and take out PTV's...?
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:02 am

apodino wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
AMR isn't pulling the revenue they should because USAir 's group is running the show and they are not up to the task. A lot of their Prime Movers are now at United and they let them go there while they kept the YES men who didn't and COULDN'T run an Outhouse if they were the only ones with the Key. They even went to one of their former Execs at United and offered him a chance to come back to American and he turned them down FLAT! There are execs who could turn American around and possible even put them on TOP but they're not going to get the call because they might see what's really going on and clean out the Locker!! You can't tell me that American Can't find excellent Manager talent. Though they more than likely Don't WANT to find Top Talent. They won't be looking either...

Don't worry they will replace them with the large group of ex northwest execs who got fired by Anderson for underperforming

They already have. It’s one of AAs biggest problems.

I know hence the comment
 
N505fx
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:42 am

Geeting rid of Doug, while it may just be symbolic, is necessary to start the turn around. Look at UA. When Smisek was canned, a lot of the CO trash he brought to the purchase of UA stuck around...and frankly, Oscar knows how to run an airline as much as Howdy Doody does...but it was the symbolism to the mid-level and rank and file that started the changes. When Oscar's gladhanding and smoke blowing had run out, the BOD at United realized they needed an operations guy, not a feel good guy, and they got Scott...but also keep in mind...a lot of AA's debt issues can be traced back to Kirby...so end of the day, Dougweiser needs to go, he has lost the respect of the employees and passengers and new blood needs to be brought in. And finally - Kirby was fired for porking an employee(s) and is banned from Vegas card counting...so not the boyscout everyone thinks he is.
 
bourbon
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Re: AA Board of Directors/Shareholders view on Doug Parker

Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:55 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
Parker served his purpose and it would have been logical to put Kirby in charge 3 years ago. Kirby either quit or was fired. I’m not clear AA had a backup plan, so they are (again!) a huge airline zombie in search of a plan. But I don’t know the details of what they could do. Is it possible the CFO regime is a major culprit? It seems like many say their long term capital structure is ill advised. If so, what should be done differently?

I was in the loop during the AA US merger and saw Doug clearly demonstrate his wit and guile during all that. He accomplished a lot. But his endgame just wasn’t as good as DL. He didn’t have that finesse. Recall DL and NW actually copied his merger blueprint to get to where DL is now. Doug is a legend for restructuring the entire US industry. Not only at AA.

What would have been logical would have been to keep the PHX top brass (including Kirby) from being able to dismantle AA.

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