Matt D
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The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:05 pm

Let's see all of your choices for worst airline CEO's from over the years. These are people who, under their leadership, once good airlines either went out of business or were shriveled down to hollowed husks of what they once were. Perhaps they intentionally set the airlines up for failure or takeover. Here are my picks:

1. Stephen Wolf: Set up Republic for takeover by Northwest and later ran United and USAir into the ground. United never really bounced back and USAir, after two trips through bankruptcy, ended up as a corpse on life support. Indeed, US ended up in such bad shape that a "mouse eating the cat" scenario ensued that allowed them to get bought out by the much smaller America West.

2. Joe O'Gorman. Has only his pockets and those of his shareholders in mind and made no apologies for that philosophy. Took over both AirCal and Reno Air with the expressed purpose of setting them up for takeover. Ironically, American snatched up both carriers only to subsequently dismantle the route networks and dumping the fleets.

3. Michael Conway: Co-founded both America West and LAS based National. He ran America West to within an inch of its life and later ran National into the ground. Now he is at Air Jamaica and I suspect that they aren't doing too well either.

4. Neal Bergt: Ran both Western and little MarkAir into extinction.

5. Robert Ferguson: Was a patsy for Frank Lorenzo and, in the late 80's, had Continental to maybe within an hour of shutdown. Later took his 'expertise' over to Midway II. That airline never did find much of a niche and eventually went under. 9/11 didn't help, but had they been a healthy airline, could've probably weathered that downturn.

6, 7: Robert Priddy, Lewis Jordan: ValuJet. 'Nuff said.

8. Frank Lorenzo: Needs no introduction. As much damage that happened under his watches from Texas Int'l to Continental/New York Air/Frontier/Eastern, I still feel he gets far more blame than he deserved. Not saying he was a saint by any means, but he definitely took a bullet for political purposes. As such, IMO, he is only #8 on my list.

9. Carl Ichahn: TWA. Karabu anyone?

10. Ron Allen: Sold PSA's soul to the Devil. For what? To try and become a United clone? Or did he have some kind of deal with Herb Kelleher? He definitely opened the door to Southwest becoming the powerhouse that they are now. Or at least did nothing to stop it. Oh yeah, he is also the one who actually unplugged the life support line and ordered the original Pan Am Clipper to be shut down.

Honorable Mention #11: Al Checci: Orchestrated the failed 1990 merger attempt between Northwest and Pan Am. Pan Am went under a year or so later and Northwest nearly fell apart. Good job.
 
sandrozrh
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:10 pm

Phillippe Bruggisser - He sent SR to the grave. (add the chairman and the board to the list aswell)
 
dtwclipper
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:11 pm

What about Harding Lawrence? He brought us the Flying Colors of Braniff International, but his ego brought the brightly colored airline from Dallas to its knees?
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National757
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:18 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
3. Michael Conway: Co-founded both America West and LAS based National. He ran America West to within an inch of its life and later ran National into the ground. Now he is at Air Jamaica and I suspect that they aren't doing too well either.



Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
7: Robert Priddy

Any more reasoning behind Mr. Priddy and his position on your list? Was he involved with the whole Sabretech/ValuJet disaster? I believe he currently sits on Allegiant's BOD.

[Edited 2007-10-10 08:21:15]
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:23 pm

Robert L. Priddy
Director
Robert L. Priddy has served on the board since May 2005. Mr. Priddy has served as a managing partner of ComVest Investment Partners since November 2003. Mr. Priddy is also an investor and owner of RMC Capital, LLC, an investment company which he founded in February 1998. Mr. Priddy was employed as the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of ValuJet, Inc. (now known as AirTran Holdings, Inc.) from its inception in 1993 until November 1997. Mr. Priddy also serves as a director of CorVu_ Corporation, a performance software company (since February 2005).

[Edited 2007-10-10 08:24:34]
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SkyexRamper
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:26 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
Joe O'Gorman. Has only his pockets and those of his shareholders in mind and made no apologies for that philosophy.

Kind of sounds like Timmy of Midwest
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iceberg210
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:30 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
8. Frank Lorenzo: Needs no introduction. As much damage that happened under his watches from Texas Int'l to Continental/New York Air/Frontier/Eastern, I still feel he gets far more blame than he deserved. Not saying he was a saint by any means, but he definitely took a bullet for political purposes. As such, IMO, he is only #8 on my list.

I would disagree with this. Lorenzo is the aviation equivalent of a HE-WHO-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED. He destroyed a trio of airlines and it would have been four if not for a savior for Continental. After reading the book "Grounded" about what Lorenzo did to Eastern I can honestly say that I believe with all me being that he really did kill that airline as well as the others he ran.

I'd add another honorable mention for what ever that guys name was that ran indy air.
Erik Berg
“Little by little, we advance with each turn. That's how a drill works!”
 
Matt D
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:33 pm

Quoting National757 (Reply 3):
Any more reasoning behind Mr. Priddy and his position on your list? Was he involved with the whole Sabretech/ValuJet disaster?

No. However, I did give him pride of place because of the rampant, out of control growth using junky old DC-9's that defined ValuJet (which were direct contributing factors to their abominable safety record-which reached a crescendo with #592). He may have not had a direct hand in the whole #592 fiasco, but the way he was driving the airline definitely allowed it to happen.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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An-225
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:39 pm

Don't forget about Mr. Glenn Tilton himself. While we, the front-line employees were taking pay cuts and pension cuts, he gave himself a nice 40-million dollar bonus.

Nice job, Mr. Tilton.


Alex.
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sandrozrh
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:46 pm

Add Hogan to that list, i believe his first name is James? He ruined GF and now he's with EY where there really isn't much to be done wrong, although the're also going down the river, not financial wise, but, for example, their maintenance is a mess. (which is done by GF, ironically)
 
UAL777UK
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:47 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
1. Stephen Wolf: Set up Republic for takeover by Northwest and later ran United and USAir into the ground. United never really bounced back and USAir, after two trips through bankruptcy, ended up as a corpse on life support. Indeed, US ended up in such bad shape that a "mouse eating the cat" scenario ensued that allowed them to get bought out by the much smaller America West.

Hmm, dont get me wrong, I dont like Wolf, but did he not cherry pick the Asia and LHR division from Pan Am!!. That was a hell of a steal on UA's part. UA "never really bounced back".....Really???
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:51 pm

Jaroslav Tvrdik - CSA Czech Airlines - an a-hole political appointee, a clown without a clue about civil aviation who broght the airline into the current misery and red numbers.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:57 pm

Quoting Iceberg210 (Reply 6):
would disagree with this. Lorenzo is the aviation equivalent of a HE-WHO-SHALL-NOT-BE-NAMED. He destroyed a trio of airlines and it would have been four if not for a savior for Continental. After reading the book "Grounded" about what Lorenzo did to Eastern I can honestly say that I believe with all me being that he really did kill that airline as well as the others he ran.

I'm gonna get flamed for this, but please remember, Continental would most likely not be here today if it was not for Lorenzo.

His tactics were cruel and harsh, but CO was in rough shape when it was taken over by Texas International.

Also, remember the point of view that "Grounded" is written in. It is an interesting read, but hardly balanced.
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EXAAUADL
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:00 pm

James Goodwin at UAL should be mentioned..nice guy but no leadership qualities at all...UAL was a tower of bablbe under his reign....He gave every employee group "buy in" as a result nothing got done. Allowed Jake Brace and Doug hacker to waste over one years of the airline's precious resources and time planning the ill fated US takeover....almost ran UAL into liquidation. Spent an inordinate amount of time in 2002 trying to get a federal bailout..after UAL was rejected, they tried and tried again....an overall dolt
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:03 pm

While a good manager Don Carty should get mentioned...ran AA very well during a difficult time but then decided to line his pockets in what was probably the biggest boneheaded move by a capable CEO in modern aviation history...he wont be remmebeered for his leqadership after Crandall but will be remembered for his final act of idiocy


Oh yea, Eddie Rickenbocker....refused to buy jets and thought jetways were an unnecessary luxury.....
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:03 pm

I would say Leo Mullin and Doug Parker. Leo Mullin basically brought Delta into bankruptcy, and Doug Parker tried to destroy a good airline by a hostile takeover bid.
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floridaflyboy
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:17 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 15):
I would say Leo Mullin and Doug Parker. Leo Mullin basically brought Delta into bankruptcy, and Doug Parker tried to destroy a good airline by a hostile takeover bid.

I would have to agree with you on Leo Mullin. He was a fruitcake. But, Doug Parker strikes me as a very capable, forward-thinking executive who just doesn't know when to quit.
Good goes around!
 
iceberg210
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:26 pm

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 12):
I'm gonna get flamed for this, but please remember, Continental would most likely not be here today if it was not for Lorenzo.

His tactics were cruel and harsh, but CO was in rough shape when it was taken over by Texas International.

Also, remember the point of view that "Grounded" is written in. It is an interesting read, but hardly balanced.

You are right in a lot of ways. I tend to think that there are times that harsh tactics must be used and Lorenzo did that but it was the fact that he tried to do the same to Eastern just for fun or something. He tried to get his way because of his stubbornness not for the good of the company.

Continental was almost dead before Lorenzo which is very true but he just prolonged the decline and while Continental didn't quite die under his guidance it almost did and if it weren't for Gordon Bethune Continental wouldn't be around today.

Finally you are quite right in terms of Grounded being a very one sided book (although a very interesting and good book if anyone wants to learn about Eastern Airlines' fall).

My opinion is that Lorenzo was either the direct reason or the indirect reason for the death of at least three airlines and almost four due to poor decisions and an unwillingness to admit that he could be wrong. For me it is not because he made the poor decisions that makes him one of the worst CEO's of all time but rather the fact that he was unwilling to accept even some of the blame for the events that occurred from his choices. Certainly there were many different people who are at least partially at fault for the demise of all those airlines but it is the fact that Lorenzo is so self righteous that if you were to ask him he'd blame the unions, or the pilots, or what ever thing he could pawn off the blame on because he can't comprehend the fact that he might have done something wrong.

But by all means I hope that no one flames you because you are right. Lorenzo is not the devil but for me I particularly do not like him because of certain personal traits that he possesses.
Erik Berg
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luv2fly
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:26 pm

Howard Putnam, the man who took over Braniff after Lawrence and tried to turn Braniff into another Southwest type airline.
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caspritz78
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:35 pm

So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

I came up with these guys:
Micheal O'Leary Ryanair
Ray Webster easyJet
Herb Kelleher Southwest
Sir John King, British Airways
Jürgen Weber, Lufthansa

There are probably many more.
 
apodino
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:46 pm

Howcome no one has mentioned Michel LeBlanc? I believe he ran three canadian airlines into the ground. Canada 3000, JetsGo, and a third one who is elluding me. And Pilots from JetsGo are still out a bit of money because of what he did to that airline.

Another one on my list is Jonathan Ornstein. Yes Mesa has had some success over the years, but because the guy is a scumbag a lot of it is starting to catch up to him. Mesa has the pilots contract up soon, you know that will be a fun negotiation, plus United is continud to be upset with their performance, so now they pull some flying (10 50 seaters for 2 70 seaters is a reduction in flying no matter what people say), the Dash 8 operation in JFK was a nightmare that didn't last, and they have one of the worst reputations in the industry.

Rakesh Gangwal ran US for a bit, and didn't help them much, as he was a disciple of Wolf.

Kerry Skeen certainly has to be on the list, because of the arrogance of ACA that they could fly on their own and not renew regional contracts, that company went belly up. Well sort of, I guess techincally thats now compass since thats who holds the certificate.

One last guy I will mention is someone you don't hear much about, but a guy named Geoff Crowley, who used to run Air Wisconsin. A few years ago, Air Wisconsin was among the best regional carriers in the industry, they had a bunch of RJ's, they had the Aspen flying, first rate ground handling, and a great contract with United. Right around the time of the United bankruptcy is also when the 70 seaters started becoming popular. Air Wisconsin had an opportunity to get some 70 seat flying, but Crowley determined that the 70 seaters were a niche product and that there was absolutely no future for 70 seat airplanes. A short while later UA puts out an RFP for all the Air Wisconsin flying and Air Wisconsin is nearly toast. Air Wisconsin had a chance to get 70 seat airplanes and put them into the United fleet and they passed up the opportunity, meanwhile an upstart airline called Republic takes a chance with the 170, and you know the rest. But it gets even better. They decide to bail out USAirways for 125 million dollars to get a home for their RJ's. The next mistake they make is see USAirways as a plan B. By doing this, their United Bid was not on incremental growth, which would have been a much cheaper bid, and it is also how SkyWest and Republic got their flying. If they had assumed that the 70 CRJ's were going to USAirways, they could have bid the United flying as new flying and incremental growth. What happened instead is because of these mistakes, a scab operation started up called GoJet. And to top it all off, instead of starting the US operation in CLT, where Mesa had the ERJ operation that Air Wisconsin would be replacing, they tell USAirways that they want the PHL operation. I bet PSA is still thanking ZW for that one. Subsequent RFPs failed, Delta told ZW they couldn't compete at all, NW likes to keep things inhouse, and CO didn't even give them a chance to bid. Right as the Midwest RFP came out, Crowley mysteriously resigned and was last spotted in San Diego with the former spokeswoman for the company, and I won't even touch those rumors.
 
Analog
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:54 pm

Sounds good to me.

Quoting Iceberg210 (Reply 6):
He destroyed a trio of airlines and it would have been four if not for a savior for Continental.

What 3? Eastern, Texas Air, Peoplexpress (was on its way to death already)?

My question is, why is Lorenzo responsible for Eastern's decline? It already was in bad shape when he acquired it. He may have pushed the unions too hard, but it takes two to tango...

Reading wikipedia it seems that the real trouble started with his acquisition of CO. It seems that his fight for control, as well as the unions' vigorous defense, was the beginning of his image problem. Was it? I can understand employees' ire if it's true that he intentionally took CO into bankruptcy just to get rid of labor contracts. Could CO have realistically avoided bankruptcy without new labor contracts?

Is there a good and relatively unbiased web reference for this story?

From Wikipedia:
Lorenzo pushed new marketing approaches on the U.S. airline industry, including the first regulator-approved low fares (first known as "Peanuts Fares" because some were so startlingly low) and other consumer benefits, such as being the first carrier to forbid pipe and cigar smoking on airplanes in 1976 and one of the first U.S. airlines to offer fully computerized airport check-in in 1978.

Lowering ticket prices, restricting smoking, computerizing check-in: sounds good to me.
 
panamair
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:54 pm

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 10):
Hmm, dont get me wrong, I dont like Wolf, but did he not cherry pick the Asia and LHR division from Pan Am!!. That was a hell of a steal on UA's part. UA "never really bounced back".....Really???

Wolf wasn't even at UA when PA sold the Pacific Division to UA....The 1985 route sale was the work of Richard Ferris of UA and Ed Acker of PA.
 
727LOVER
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:03 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 15):
I would say Leo Mullin and Doug Parker. Leo Mullin basically brought Delta into bankruptcy, and Doug Parker tried to destroy a good airline by a hostile takeover bid.

oH PuuuuuuuuuuLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE!

Doug Parker??????? Never mind that he saved both US & HP. But because he tried to by your precious Delta, he' should be on the list? Whatever!
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
B752OS
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:05 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
2. Joe O'Gorman. Has only his pockets and those of his shareholders in mind and made no apologies for that philosophy. Took over both AirCal and Reno Air with the expressed purpose of setting them up for takeover. Ironically, American snatched up both carriers only to subsequently dismantle the route networks and dumping the fleets.

You do realize that the main goal of a public company is to keep their shareholders happy and increase their welath.
 
b727
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:09 pm

Is Frank Lorenzo still alive? IF so he should be strung up by his sack.
Nothing but a P.O.S. in my mind

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Glenn
 
Analog
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:10 pm

Quoting B752OS (Reply 25):

You do realize that the main goal of a public company is to keep their shareholders happy and increase their welath.

It's not just their goal, it's their obligation to do what's necessary (within the law) to maximize the shareholders' financial gain.
 
FURUREFA
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:13 pm

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 20):
So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

I came up with these guys:
Micheal O'Leary Ryanair
Ray Webster easyJet
Herb Kelleher Southwest
Sir John King, British Airways
Jürgen Weber, Lufthansa

There are probably many more.

Robert Crandall, American --> He saved AA when he came into the company in the '70s. Even though the employees didn't like him at the time, they miss him now...


Matt
 
StarCityFlyr
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:19 pm

I would add Bill Howard, CEO of Piedmont Airlines, at the time of the bid from US Air. Piedmont had the chance to be an independent carrier bankrolled by Norfolk & Western Railway (now Norfolk Southern). He got "hood-winked" by Ed Colodny at US Air and the rest is sad to say...history.

In terms of the best, I would add Tom Davis, founder of Piedmont. I would rank him up there with the likes of Herb and Gordon. All three knew how to run an airline.

Happy Flying!
 
717-200
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:19 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 21):
Howcome no one has mentioned Michel LeBlanc? I believe he ran three canadian airlines into the ground. Canada 3000, JetsGo, and a third one who is elluding me

I believe it was Royal who LeBlanc merged into Canada 3000.
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SkyexRamper
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:44 pm

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 20):
So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

I came up with these guys:
Micheal O'Leary Ryanair
Ray Webster easyJet
Herb Kelleher Southwest
Sir John King, British Airways
Jürgen Weber, Lufthansa

I would have to say that Herb Kelleher is the best airline founder/ceo of modern times.
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masseybrown
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:56 pm

David Siegel of US Airways. Even though he was 100% right in assessing US's problems and cures, he so alienated the employees that bankruptcy 2 and his resignation became inevitable.

Joshua Gotbaum, a Washington hanger-on, was appointed HA trustee in bankruptcy. He was best at negotiating his own compensation. While he probably doesn't belong on a "worst" list, his love of perks, complete lack of knowledge and experience, and inability at management was an industry joke and should earn him an honorable mention.
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:00 pm

Rangesh Gangwal of US that was a crony of Steven Wolf...another nasty CEO now running a Start up LCC carrier in India
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luv2fly
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:03 pm

John P. Tague who almost destroyed American Trans Air before heading back to UA!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
ltbewr
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:03 pm

There are many here who would include Michael O'Leary of Ryanair as among the worst CEO's, not among the best. Yes, he is a great in terms of saving money for pax and making lots of profits for it's stockholders, but some polices from aircraft cost reduction ideas, how he limits labor costs, going into questionably named and inconvenient airports, too consumer unfriendly polices as to fares and refunds or flight changes have been often discussed here in a negative way. It also encourages a rush to the bottom in pricing and customer service which hurts mainline airlines and their service and in the end hurts many customers.
 
717-200
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:27 pm

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 32):
David Siegel of US Airways. Even though he was 100% right in assessing US's problems and cures, he so alienated the employees that bankruptcy 2 and his resignation became inevitable.

That assesment of Siegel sounds very similar to a current CEO at certain red tailed airline.
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itsnotfinals
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:32 pm

Quoting 717-200 (Reply 36):
That assesment of Siegel sounds very similar to a current CEO at certain red tailed airline.

Seigel is what we in the indusrty call a "Work out guy" he was never there to make friends, but rather slap the right shade of lipstick on the pig and sell it to get the State of Alabama Pension program out of trouble.
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ssides
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:36 pm

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 20):
So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

Robert Crandall, hands down. He and his team invented the frequent flyer program and the hub-and-spoke system, and turned AA into the best US airline around.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
ZRH
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:41 pm

By far no 1 is Philippe Bruggisser. He sent the so called "flying bank" which had several billions of cash to bankrupcty.
 
masseybrown
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting Ssides (Reply 38):
Robert Crandall ... and his team invented ...the hub-and-spoke system

I thought Delta at ATL got credit for this. While other airlines have long had connecting hubs (ORD especially), wasn't ATL the first omni-directional hub which feature aircraft shuttling to and from spoke cities?
 
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modernArt
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 35):
There are many here who would include Michael O'Leary of Ryanair as among the worst CEO's, not among the best. Yes, he is a great in terms of saving money for pax and making lots of profits for it's stockholders, but some polices from aircraft cost reduction ideas, how he limits labor costs, going into questionably named and inconvenient airports, too consumer unfriendly polices as to fares and refunds or flight changes have been often discussed here in a negative way. It also encourages a rush to the bottom in pricing and customer service which hurts mainline airlines and their service and in the end hurts many customers.

O'Leary's greatest sin is he has ruffled the feathers of the Old Guard at BA, Aer Lingus and elsewhere. He oversees a safe, effecient and very profitable airline operation that flies 40 million+ passengers per year.

Mainline carriers are 100% responsible for the situations they find themselves in.
 
Bramble
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:47 pm

Try Dermot Mannion of Aer Lingus.

Was formerly on the Emirates management team. Moved to EI just as they floated on the stock market and started a Dublin to Dubai service. His Middle East experience should have helped him. EI are now reviewing their DXB operation, due to bad product and schedule, shorthaul expansion has slowed and for the 6 months after floatation EI were hamstrung by the 'unexpected' takeover attempt by RyanAir,their biggest competitor. Apparently no-one thought to do a worse case scenario for the floatation.
 
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LTU932
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:52 pm

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 20):
So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

I came up with these guys:
Micheal O'Leary Ryanair
Ray Webster easyJet
Herb Kelleher Southwest
Sir John King, British Airways
Jürgen Weber, Lufthansa

Add to the list Gordon Bethune. The guy who saved CO and made it one of the best airlines in the US.

As for the Airline CEO Hall of Shame, though technically not an airline CEO, I nominate the Italian government for their mismanagement of AZ.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:53 pm

Why had nobody mentioned Bob Ayling of BA????

Surely he has to have been the worsed in the UK for years, possibly ever...
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:57 pm

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
10. Ron Allen: Sold PSA's soul to the Devil. For what? To try and become a United clone? Or did he have some kind of deal with Herb Kelleher? He definitely opened the door to Southwest becoming the powerhouse that they are now. Or at least did nothing to stop it. Oh yeah, he is also the one who actually unplugged the life support line and ordered the original Pan Am Clipper to be shut down.

Ron Allen, like a lot of people may not know or should know, was Delta. It was his first job out of college and he was there pretty much all his life up until he was put out in '97. He loved Delta but and I think, at teh time, he was making decisions that "seemed" right for the company at th time. His problem with thinking that Delta coupld do what it wanted because the bank accounts were fat at the time. As a note, his cost cutting did work. The employees HATED 7.5 but it served a purpose. Also managed to turn Delta something like a $800 million proffit before he left. I'm not well versed in the time period of Pan Am and Delta's relationship but why would they have continued to pump money into a dying operation? I think Delta's downfall began when Tom Beebe came in. Yes, he is also a long term Delta veteran but his style is what started to poison Delta, not to mention his grooming and pushing of then very younf Ron Allen.

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 2):
What about Harding Lawrence? He brought us the Flying Colors of Braniff International, but his ego brought the brightly colored airline from Dallas to its knees?

 checkmark  Although, I still don't know if Braniff would have survived past the 90's anyway.

Quoting An-225 (Reply 8):
Don't forget about Mr. Glenn Tilton himself. While we, the front-line employees were taking pay cuts and pension cuts, he gave himself a nice 40-million dollar bonus.

Nice job, Mr. Tilton.

 checkmark  I don't know how that guys is still around. Although I can't blame him. If they let him, why not.

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 14):
Oh yea, Eddie Rickenbocker....refused to buy jets and thought jetways were an unnecessary luxury.....

Now we shouldn't say that about Grandfather. Anyone who's worked the ramp in ATL for ASA has seen the mural of Mr. Rickenbacker in the hall way near the breakroom on C and he's surrounded by Eastern birds. Kind of chilling and always wondered why it wasn't painted over but I guess it serves some sort of historical significance.

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 20):
So who would you say are good examples of Airline CEOs or Airline Managers?

I came up with these guys:
Micheal O'Leary Ryanair
Ray Webster easyJet
Herb Kelleher Southwest
Sir John King, British Airways
Jürgen Weber, Lufthansa

Gordon Bethune and Gerald Grinstein

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 24):
Doug Parker??????? Never mind that he saved both US & HP. But because he tried to by your precious Delta, he' should be on the list? Whatever!

I actually agree with you but still don't see why they anyone thought any good would come out of that merger (but what does?). They don't have their act together in house yet they want to bring a $10 billion deal in the mix?

Quoting B727 (Reply 26):
Is Frank Lorenzo still alive? IF so he should be strung up by his sack.
Nothing but a P.O.S. in my mind

Yes he is still alive and I do believe he still recieves death threats daily. Had it not been for him tearing down all these arlines, Contiental would not have been what it is today. Time is so weird and we can only speculate. He did exactly what people are calling for today and it's that nasty 13 letter word airline employees hate.

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 28):
Robert Crandall, American --> He saved AA when he came into the company in the '70s. Even though the employees didn't like him at the time, they miss him now...

Robert Crandall was a son of a bitch but he did it for American. Very tough and that's what airlines need nowadays.

Leo F. Mullin should be at near or at the top. An ENTIRE thread could be started and what this guy did and all his bonehead ideas. He's still seen around Atlanta at times and i've heard from more than one flight attendants that he gets very odd looks when he's on Delta flights. Although I think they took away his privilages. Also not a CEO but up in ran, Michelle Burns.
What gets measured gets done.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:58 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 43):
Add to the list Gordon Bethune. The guy who saved CO and made it one of the best airlines in the US.

can we add Gerald Grinstein the man who saved delta?
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:59 pm

Noel Forgeard ex-CEO of Airbus gets my first prize in the CEO Hall Of Shame.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
bok269
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RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:07 pm

Doug Steenland-take $26 million while your employees get shafted.

On the top of my Hall of Fame:

Herb Kelleher, WN
Gordon Bethune, AQ, formerly of CO
Larry Kellner, CO
Gerald Grinstein, DL
David Neeleman, B6
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
WDBRR
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:28 am

RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:13 pm

one name:

LL OO RRR EEEE N N ZZZZZ OO
LL OO OO R R E N N N ZZ OO OO
LL OO OO RRR EE N N N ZZ OO OO
LL OO OO R R E N N N ZZ OO OO
LLLLLL OO R R EEEE N N ZZZZZ OO
 
philzh
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 10:22 pm

RE: The Airline CEO Hall Of Shame

Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:22 pm

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 1):
Phillippe Bruggisser - He sent SR to the grave.

 checkmark 

Quoting ZRH (Reply 39):
By far no 1 is Philippe Bruggisser.

 checkmark 

However to counter the noticeably limited horizon (the Yankees have only their CEOs in mind, as do we Swiss), I nominate Geoff Dixon, CEO of Qantas. He certainly didn't run "his" airline into the ground (yet), but he was extraordinarily, how shall I say it... pliable to the siren-songs of private equity.

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