Delta’s New Chief Working Officer Has No Airline Expertise

Delta Air Traces has this week appointed a brand new senior government, who looks like a shocking choose…

Mike Spanos appointed as Delta Chief Working Officer

Mike Spanos has been appointed Chief Working Officer (COO) at Delta, and he’ll start his new position as of June 12, 2023.

For some background, Spanos spent greater than 25 years working in management roles at PepsiCo and the Pepsi Bottling Group, together with having regional government roles throughout america, Turkey, China, Asia, the Center East, and North Africa, being President and CEO at PepsiCo Worldwide sectors, and being Chief Buyer Officer at Pepsi Drinks North America. Extra just lately, Spanos was President and CEO at Six Flags Leisure.

Delta claims that Spanos shares the corporate’s “values of servant management and at all times placing folks first.” Delta’s Chief Buyer Expertise Officer, Allison Ausband, and Chief of Operations, John Laughter, will report back to Spanos, who will report on to CEO Ed Bastian.

Right here’s how Bastian described Spanos in a memo to staff:

“The expertise and perspective Mike brings to Delta will improve and speed up the combination throughout our operational, buyer expertise and expertise groups, aligning them to ship an unsurpassed product and repair for our prospects and our staff.”

In the meantime right here’s what Spanos stated about his new position:

“The Delta individuals are the very best within the enterprise. I’m wanting ahead to getting began, visiting the operation and rolling up my sleeves to allow our group to do what they do each day: run the world’s finest airline for our prospects.”

Delta has appointed a brand new Chief Working Officer

I’m curious to see how this goes…

Airways usually go to one in all two extremes in terms of hiring for senior positions — generally they rent individuals who have been on the firm for many years, whereas different occasions they rent individuals who have by no means even labored within the trade.

I can after all see the benefit to each of these — it’s good to reward those that been loyal to the corporate for a very long time and have a observe report of success, and different occasions it’s good to get a recent perspective on issues from an outsider.

I’ll say, nevertheless, that at this level in Delta’s historical past, I do discover it a bit odd to rent a COO with no airline expertise. This comes at a time when Delta has been struggling operationally greater than pre-pandemic. Each the beverage and theme park enterprise are vastly totally different than the airline enterprise. And whereas many expertise and ideas after all switch between industries, the airline trade is especially advanced.

I suppose his lack of airline expertise isn’t a difficulty so long as he has good folks reporting to him, who do have a whole lot of airline expertise (and that appears to be the case). Nevertheless it additionally jogs my memory of how a brand new United MileagePlus CEO was just lately appointed, who beforehand labored at Comcast. As a result of, you realize, nobody is aware of how one can maintain prospects loyal fairly like cable firms.

Is that this time to rent somebody with no airline expertise?

Backside line

Delta has employed a brand new Chief Working Officer with no airline expertise, who beforehand labored at Six Flags and PepsiCo. That is an fascinating selection, given the complexity of the airline trade, and likewise the operational challenges that Delta has confronted in current occasions. We’ve seen fairly some shifts in senior administration at Delta because the begin of the pandemic, although I discover this to be one of many extra uncommon new appointments.

What do you make of Delta’s selection for a brand new COO?

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