Richard Anderson the CEO of Delta Airlines is expected to help the company turn around in a time of declining sales and staggering costs. The board of directors felt that Richard Anderson was the best candidate for the job with his 20 years of experience in the airline industry. Richard has a huge amount of skills that come from his unique background but does he have enough pizzazz to make the Delta number #1?
Richard Anderson’s Experience
Richard Anderson has been the president of UnitedHealth Group’s commercial services unit and prior to this worked for Northwest Airlines for nearly 14 years. This is an amazing amount of experience for a person to work within the industry and lots of years of knowledge to offer.
We also find that Richard Anderson wasn’t confined to simply one aspect of the airline industry but had worked in many different departments which further increased his knowledge. Everything from recruiting to compliance was in his bag of tricks. Consider the following:
“Harris County Criminal Court, Texas, 1978-1987, chief counsel, then assistant district attorney; Continental Airlines, 1987-1990, staff vice president and deputy general counsel; Northwest Airlines, 1990-1994, vice president and deputy general counsel; 1994-1996, senior vice president of labor relations; 1997-1998, senior vice president of technical operations and airport affairs; 1998, executive vice president of technical operations, flight operations, and airport affairs; 1998-2001, executive vice president and COO of facilities, airport affairs, and regulatory compliance; 2001-2007 CEO” (Answer.com, 2006). In 2007 he moved to Delta Airlines as CEO.
Richard Anderson’s Track Record:
After becoming CEO Anderson built the 1.2 billion dollar terminal in Detroit Michigan. It was a state of the art facility that increased overall traffic time, allowed for more flights, and higher levels of efficiency. Furthermore, it also expanded the Northwest’s ability to service the international Asian market.
Low employee morale was damaging Northwest and Anderson stepped full speed into turning the situation around. In 2001 he renegotiated a contract with the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association that ended a dispute that had been going on for five years. His goal was to improve overall company relations with its employees.
Anderson failed in his negotiations to get more than 900 million dollar concession from workers in 2003 at a time when other airlines were filing for bankruptcy. He did, however, restructure jobs, eliminated 17,000 jobs and effectively cut $1.6 billion in annual expenses in a two year period that helped the company stay out of bankruptcy.
Richard Anderson could also be termed Richard the Lion Hearted. He demands perfection from his employees and expects them to do what they promise. He doesn’t like excuses nor does he like to pussy foot around the questions. He is direct, driven and concise.
However, Richard was collaborative by nature. He was considered friendly to his staff, had his email named “Richard”, encouraged informal discussion and liked to pull the ideas of his staff together. Even though Richard was driven he wasn’t arrogant and knew that teams build companies.