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nasmal
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Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:10 am

It was going to happen sooner or later.
This is a loss for DELTA.
He was a great executive.
 
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:30 am

Bye Jim I miss you very much and you did a good job buddy good luck!!
really sucks the BOD F**ked him over like they did they have no clue what they have lost!
 
764flyer
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:34 am

Just goes to show you Jim...no good deed goes unpunished.
 
DALelite
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:36 am

yes and i will miss him too, greatly! he was a great outgoing person. what a loss for DL.
cheers: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
DLOnur
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:19 am

Interestingly enough, Whitehurst also agreed not to work for any competitors either. So I guess the Virgin America opportunity is probably not on the table at this point.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/29/news...companies/delta_coo.reut/index.htm

-o-
ABQ
What you believe is what you see.
 
flydl2atl
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:22 am

I suspect the board basically wants to sell/merge the company so the last thing they want is a Delta supporter. The failure to retain him speaks of their intentions and motivations. What a shame...I think it's becoming ever apparent that the board doesn't give two shits about the employees or the company itself.
 
DLOnur
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:33 am

Delta's SEC filing regarding Jim's departure:

"Item 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.


(b) Effective August 31, 2007, James M. Whitehurst, currently Chief Operating Officer of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (“Delta” or the “Company”), will terminate his employment with the Company to pursue other career interests. The separation agreement entered into between Mr. Whitehurst and Delta is described below.

(e) On August 29, 2007, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a separation agreement between Mr. Whitehurst and the Company. Under this agreement, Mr. Whitehurst has agreed to certain non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality covenants for the benefit of Delta and a general release of claims he may have against Delta. Mr. Whitehurst will receive the benefits provided under the 2007 Officer and Director Severance Plan. These benefits include severance pay equal to his annual base salary of $382,500 plus 100% of his target annual incentive amount (which target annual incentive amount equals two times annual base salary), as well as the continuation for 12 months of certain health and life insurance benefits.


Under the agreement, all restrictions on restricted stock granted to Mr. Whitehurst under the 2007 Performance Compensation Plan will lapse as of August 31, 2007; stock options granted to him under that Plan may be exercised in whole or in part until August 31, 2009; and performance shares granted to him under that Plan may vest if Delta meets certain performance goals over the next three years. For additional information about these equity awards, see Delta’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22, 2007.


Under the agreement, Mr. Whitehurst will receive certain flight benefits for 14 years. In recognition of his service in 2007, Mr. Whitehurst will receive payment of a pro rata portion of his 2007 target annual incentive amount. "

Not bad--positive space for the next 14 years!!

-o-
What you believe is what you see.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:35 am

you are way off base, Flydl2atl.

Jim was very popular but that doesn't mean the board believes he was the strongest person to lead the company. If you haven't ever seen a person being passed over for a promotion, you have a lot to learn in life.

Jim Whitehurst probably endeared himself to DL people better than any other executive in recent US airline history - and he did it in only a couple years.

The best way to honor Whitehurst is to continue what he began - and wish him VERY WELL in the next phase of his life.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:36 am

Quoting Flydl2atl (Reply 6):
I suspect the board basically wants to sell/merge the company so the last thing they want is a Delta supporter. The failure to retain him speaks of their intentions and motivations. What a shame...I think it's becoming ever apparent that the board doesn't give two shits about the employees or the company itself.

i wouldn't go that far the new pres and CFO is a DL supporter so is the rest of upper management but it is a huge loss for DL
 
Lono
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:38 am

Quoting DLOnur (Reply 7):
Not bad--positive space for the next 14 years!!

14 years is a very long time in regards to airlines.... who is to say if DL will be around even a few years from now...

This IMO is very typical of DL..... and I also think this is a first step of some interesting things happening to/for DL and her employees.... is the future as bright as we once thought....???? some of the sheen is wearing thin....
Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:46 am

From what the AJC is saying, incoming CEO Richard Anderson and Ed Bastian both tried to persuade Whitehurst to remain: http://www.ajc.com/business/content/...stories/2007/08/29/delta_0830.html
Quite interestingly Gerald Grinstien will remain on with DL as a consultant for the next year or so. Do you smell merger? NW? AS? Keep in mind that Grinstein was the principle architect of the Delta/Western merger two decades ago. In my estimation, this is why he is remaining on officially as a consultant. Look for Glen Hauenstein to be elevated to the COO position.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
DLOnur
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:51 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Look for Glen Hauenstein to be elevated to the COO position.

X2.
What you believe is what you see.
 
belizexp
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:06 am

It breaks my heart to see Mr Whitehurst go I wish him all the best...
Belize my home sweet home...
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting DLOnur (Reply 7):
Under the agreement, Mr. Whitehurst will receive certain flight benefits for 14 years.

What was quoted doesn't say it is positive space. And positive space travel requires tax payments. In many cases, airline execs use positive space only when necessary and fly standby just like everyone else when they can.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Quite interestingly Gerald Grinstien will remain on with DL as a consultant for the next year or so.

give it a rest. you are worse than the pundits who are looking under every airport bathroom stall for the next political witchhunt.

He wasn't promoted, he resigned, and he's now getting a nice compensation package of parting gifts - including the opportunity to cash in on some of the stock awards he might receive if he stayed. Very generous.
 
DLOnur
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:16 am

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 14):

What was quoted doesn't say it is positive space. And positive space travel requires tax payments. In many cases, airline execs use positive space only when necessary and fly standby just like everyone else when they can.

I was joking.  

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 14):
He wasn't promoted, he resigned, and he's now getting a nice compensation package of parting gifts - including the opportunity to cash in on some of the stock awards he might receive if he stayed. Very generous.

He stands to make up to $8 million if DL hits their proposed performance goals and he gets to exercise his stocks as well as all of his options. A good chunk of change indeed.

[Edited 2007-08-30 01:19:11]
What you believe is what you see.
 
VS11
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:22 am

It looks like he got one million dollars in cash by leaving DL - not such a bad move financially.
 
bucky707
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:28 am

Quoting Flydl2atl (Reply 6):
I suspect the board basically wants to sell/merge the company so the last thing they want is a Delta supporter. The failure to retain him speaks of their intentions and motivations.

I was thinking the same thing.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Look for Glen Hauenstein to be elevated to the COO position.

If this happens (and I had not thought about this) I'll relax. I've had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hauenstein. I can tell you he is very nice and cares very much about Delta. I also think he is probably the smartest airline manager in the world.

[Edited 2007-08-30 01:29:04]
 
Evan767
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:35 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Look for Glen Hauenstein to be elevated to the COO position.

Would be great to see this.

Really sucks that Jim is leaving. I'm still pissed that Jim or Ed didn't make CEO.
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
gsosbee
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:15 am

When Anderson came in, one of the other two was doomed. I would say Whitehurst will be better off going somewhere else. He is still relatively young so he does need a bit more "C" level experience in order to be taken seriously. His age more than anything else scared off the board.
 
hiflyer
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:24 am

Quoting DLOnur (Reply 7):
Under this agreement, Mr. Whitehurst has agreed to certain non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality covenants for the benefit of Delta

Normally these no comp clauses are for 1-4 years max. No time is specified in this filing. Anderson is coming to DL after being away from NW since 2006 so either his anticomp was short or it was waived. (FYI I am not a strong believer that his move means NW/DL merger as the boys running NW now basically forced him out) Believe Bethune had a 4 year deal coming away from USAir before he could go to CO...not sure what Stephen Wolf had from UA to USAir.
 
MCOAviationFan
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:40 am

This is indeed a great loss for DL. Jim was focused on assuring that DL did not repeat the mistakes of the past, such as allowing Air Tran to increase their market share in Atlanta after Valujet had lost share after the safety incidents many years ago. He wanted to assure that Delta would always remain a fierce competitor. Since he became COO, he was very aggressive in positioning DL as a leader in the industry instead of a follower. Let's hope this same spirit lives on in whomever takes his place.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:10 am

This is the price DL is paying for not taking the AWH bid. No more. No less. To fend off the takeover bid, the board makeup changed with more power to those creditors who wanted to do the deal. They brought in Anderson. They rejected the proposed leadership. The war for Delta was not won when AWH went away, only the battle,at that time, was won. The final chapter is yet to be written.
 
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STT757
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 20):
Believe Bethune had a 4 year deal coming away from USAir before he could go to CO...not sure what Stephen Wolf had from UA to USAir.

Gordon came to CO from Boeing, prior to that he was at Piedmont (not US Air).
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:31 am

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 14):
give it a rest. you are worse than the pundits who are looking under every airport bathroom stall for the next political witchhunt.

WorldTraveler, I normally have a great deal of respect for you and everything you contribute to this board, but these comments in this thread seem totally out-of-line, and insulting. A lot of people see the chain of events as the possible precursor to a merger. They have the right to that opinion. Although I don't think that's likely, I don't want to rule it out, either. That's what a.net is all about, discussion, right or wrong.
Good goes around!
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:07 pm

thank you for your respect but it should be obvious that the mania regarding airline mergers is disconnected from the real likelihood of it happening. It would not be hard to view every decision that is made at any airline in the vein of consolidation if you wanted to but you would be ignoring alot of other possibilities. Rephrasing your theory in the form of a question might convey the possibility that this event may or may not be viewed within the possibility of industry consolidation.
 
Griffair
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:27 pm

Speaking of Mr. Anderson...

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 20):
(FYI I am not a strong believer that his move means NW/DL merger as the boys running NW now basically forced him out)

Can someone elaborate in a brief word or two?

BTW, Jim Whitehurst brought leadership that everyone at Delta could embrace and feel good about. I'll never forget the good he did here. At a time when things looked really bleak, he rallied everyone to feel good about themselves and the Company as well as craft a host of ongoing operational improvements. He was part of a great team at a desperate time in the Company's history.
I understand, though, the corporate way.
If you ever read this Jim, I for one really appreciate what you did here. You have endeared yourself to a lot of loyal Delta people. We wish you the best.
 
JKJ777
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:53 pm

I doubt he will have too much trouble finding a leading role in a great company. Delta owed a lot to him as he was instrumental in their return to glory. Let's just hope the board knew what they were doing and made the right decision.
 
hiflyer
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:40 pm

USair/PI merger approved 1987....Ed Colodny had no room for the up and coming personable Bethune to remain and Bethune joined Boeing in 1988. Went to CO in 1994.

Anderson left NWA in 2004..the year before had demanded 950 mil from workers in concessions....and just before the insider trading scandal among top NWA execs broke in the spring of 2005 followed by a further demand of wage cuts and then the mechanics strike followed by Chapt 11 filing the same year. Fortuitous timing???

Current CEO Steenland's purge in 2004/2005 bringing in two ex USAir financial types setup the planning and execution of the Chapt 11....
 
mspdl
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:19 pm

I had the opportunity to attend a speech that Jim W. was giving. I remember the speech was pretty long, however I did not notice it being long as he kept my attention the whole time. He is sharp guy who knows what is good for Delta! I just hope these new guys will take some advice from Jim.
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:52 am

Best of luck to Whitehurst in the future. He's very young for a "C" level and has a lot of successful years ahead of him.

Even when I was at Comair you could feel some of the Whitehurst spirit through the ranks. He was one of those executives that had a real passion for what he did, and I think he truely cared about the employees and customers.

His presence will be missed...
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
gsosbee
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:43 am

Quoting JKJ777 (Reply 27):

The price of Freedom for Delta was a creditor controlled board. The brought in Anderson for one reason, recover as much value for the Delta creditors as can reasonably be had. Until the board is able to be reconfigured (a long process,) Delta is probably one board meeting away from a merger. This is a shame as Delta is one of the few airlines in the world where the majority of the employees know the meaning and practice customer service.
 
gothamspotter
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:17 am

Whoever is ultimately responsible for the disaster that is DL's JFK operation should be fired. It would seem to me that the guy in charge of operations, Whitehurst, is that guy.
 
dl021
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:08 am

DL is currently having a few growing pains in their international schedule, they've dropped Edinburgh and a couple others that seemed to always be full...they had the JFK disaster....they've had some other issues and it's entirely possible that the BoD felt he was not yet ready to take the reins of CEO yet. He's only 39 (my age, so I say only with respect) and he's achieved a tremendous amount in his time with DL, so he'll be ok moving forward elsewhere.

The new guy is quoted as saying that he's deep operationally, and it may just be that the new CEO doesn't need someone to do the COO position the way Gerry did.

I wish Whitehurst well.

Quoting Nasmal (Thread starter):
This is a loss for DELTA.
He was a great executive.

True, I wish there was a way to keep the dude, but it's one of those things where if you can't use him the way he wants to be used you have to let him find his way. They couldn't force him to stay, and the stage was set for him to leave when he didn't get the job.

Quoting 764flyer (Reply 3):
Just goes to show you Jim...no good deed goes unpunished.

I hope it's not like that.

Quoting Flydl2atl (Reply 6):
...I think it's becoming ever apparent that the board doesn't give two shits about the employees or the company itself.

I really hope that's wrong. Let's see what happens. Gerry is the one who led the fight to keep away from the merger/takeover from Useless Air...let's hope that he wasn't just setting the stage for someone else to take over.

I would not really have an issue, though, if DL took over another carrier as long as they aren't buying the baggage of a failed airline.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 8):
Jim Whitehurst probably endeared himself to DL people better than any other executive in recent US airline history - and he did it in only a couple years

Very true. Grinstein as well.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Look for Glen Hauenstein to be elevated to the COO position.

New guy said in the AJC that they probably would not have a COO. He'd do it.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 16):
It looks like he got one million dollars in cash by leaving DL - not such a bad move financially.

Same article in AJC said they approved him converting immediately closer to $8mil. I may have read it wrong, though. That may have been total value of his package.

Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 32):
Whoever is ultimately responsible for the disaster that is DL's JFK operation should be fired. It would seem to me that the guy in charge of operations, Whitehurst, is that guy.

I would say you have to take the heat as well as the ice cream for things you were responsible for handling.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:53 am

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 31):
Until the board is able to be reconfigured (a long process,) Delta is probably one board meeting away from a merger.

there simply is no basis in truth for that statement. DL's board is interested in the highest value for the shareholders - as is the board of every other company. Merger are notoriously difficult and costly in the airline industry - witness the disaster that is US' operation and labor relations. The board and industry will start thinking about mergers when it becomes necessary to do so in terms of profitabililty - and when the best opportunity arises. It is not a good time to push mergers through when most airlines are financially stable (relative term in the airline industry) and the economy is stable.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 33):
...they had the JFK disaster....

excuse me? What airlines have been all over the papers for massive service meltdowns? not DL.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 33):
Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 8):
Jim Whitehurst probably endeared himself to DL people better than any other executive in recent US airline history - and he did it in only a couple years

Very true. Grinstein as well.

except that Whitehurst has no baggage that he has been dragging behind him.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 33):
Same article in AJC said they approved him converting immediately closer to $8mil. I may have read it wrong, though. That may have been total value of his package.

He doesn't get the $8M now but he has the right to collect the money that he would have received from the stock as it reaches its targets. It is a very reasonable thing to do for someone who helped make DL's turnaround happen, although there are alot of DL leaders who were very instrumental as well.
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:59 am

Quoting GothamSpotter (Reply 32):
Whoever is ultimately responsible for the disaster that is DL's JFK operation should be fired. It would seem to me that the guy in charge of operations, Whitehurst, is that guy.

Fill me in on the DL JFK operation disaster. I really am not familiar with anything close to that description.
 
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SLCUT2777
Posts: 3477
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:11 am

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 14):
give it a rest. you are worse than the pundits who are looking under every airport bathroom stall for the next political witchhunt.

My only point is that a merger is more than likely for DL given the actions of the board. I think it was summed up well:

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 31):
The price of Freedom for Delta was a creditor controlled board. They brought in Anderson for one reason, recover as much value for the Delta creditors as can reasonably be had. Until the board is able to be reconfigured (a long process,) Delta is probably one board meeting away from a merger.

This isn't by any means tabloid trash underneath some stall at JFK or LAX, but is quite often talked about increasingly with the way this has panned out. Grinstein retiring from day to day operations, but remaining as a consultant? Smells like something is up!

Quoting DL021 (Reply 33):
New guy said in the AJC that they probably would not have a COO. He'd do it.

I certainly hope that Glen doesn't leave if that really is the case. I'm quite certain however with Jim being castigated and booted by the DL BoD (with a nice severance package though), Richard will ultimately turn increasingly to Glen, especially with network planning, where Glen excels. None the less, DL loses someone who was very logistically minded when it came to hte use of aircraft and making changes that were badly needed.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
DLOnur
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:56 pm

RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:33 pm

Quoting Lono (Reply 10):

14 years is a very long time in regards to airlines.... who is to say if DL will be around even a few years from now...

Well, according to today's AJC, Whitehurst and family will get positive space seats for the next 14 years:


"positive space" flight privileges for 14 years. Such privileges allow the holders to reserve seats as though they bought tickets, unlike the typical flight passes that allow airline employees to fly for free, or for a nominal amount, when open seats are available."

Linky: http://www.ajc.com/business/content/....html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab
What you believe is what you see.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:53 pm

Quoting DLOnur (Reply 5):
Whitehurst also agreed not to work for any competitors either.

If I were Whitehurst, I would have gladly told the BOD to go screw themselves since they passed me up for the CEO position, but thats just me.

The BOD screwed up on this one. Tsk tsk tsk! All it takes is for a shareholder to point out the BOD's mistake at the next shareholders meeting with applause in the background after. This, in turn, could put pressure on the BOD to really make some positive changes for DL.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:48 pm

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 35):
Fill me in on the DL JFK operation disaster. I really am not familiar with anything close to that description.

Then clearly you haven't flown Delta to JFK recently...
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5514
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:16 pm

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 35):
Fill me in on the DL JFK operation disaster. I really am not familiar with anything close to that description.

38.5% on-time performance for DL's mainline JFK operations in the month of June. That's a disaster.

It's disappointing to see Whitehurst go, but no surprise. The BOD has certain goals in mind and I don't think Whitehurst would be the one to achieve them, despite his popularity with employees.
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: Delta COO Jim Whitehurst Resigns

Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:37 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 40):
Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 35):
Fill me in on the DL JFK operation disaster. I really am not familiar with anything close to that description.

38.5% on-time performance for DL's mainline JFK operations in the month of June. That's a disaster.

How did that compare to Jet Blue and the other large JFK users?

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