After a 23-year career with the airline, Delta Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson had announced his impending retirement in late February of this year. He had joined the company as a financial analyst in 1997 and was promoted to CFO in 2012. Feathers in his cap included not only his finesse in bringing the airline back from bankruptcy in 2005, but being named the airline industry’s best CFO eight times by Institutional Investor magazine, in their poll of Wall Street analysts and investors.
48-year-old Jacobson had agreed to remain at Delta until a successor had been named and a transition period had happened.
But now? “Just kidding!”….he’s staying!
Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote a memo to Delta employees on April 21 that he has asked Jacobson to remain at Delta, and he’s agreed. Jacobson is rescinding his retirement and will continue as the company’s EVP and CFO.
“…Paul’s experience and guidance have been critical to Delta’s initial response to the COVID-19 crisis,” Bastian’s memo said in part. “Under his leadership, we have boosted our liquidity through commercial markets and expanded our cash position to help us weather the storm in the months to come. Paul and his team have been instrumental in executing our strategy for cost reduction while forging the path ahead so that Delta is positioned to lead the industry when the recovery comes.”
Delta, like every airline out there, has struggled since coronavirus became a worldwide epidemic. Having leaders with years of experience, who know the company inside and out, will surely help them recover in the coming months and years. So it makes sense to ask Jacobson to stay on.
“Paul is a champion of Delta’s culture – indeed, he embodies those shared values of service, integrity and respect that make us unique. He will ensure that every step we take towards recovery – even the most difficult – fully reflects those values.”
I would say he has big shoes to fill, but under the circumstances, I think they’ll fit just fine.
***Feature photo: Delta Air Lines
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary